Getting More Funding for NASA Space Science

I am a couple of days behind the curve, but I saw this at Susan’s and wanted to pass this along…

Getting more funding for NASA Space Science
Rep John Culbertson put out an urgent call for people to write letters to fellow congressional appropriators about ways to add funds back to the NASA science budget (the Science budget for FY 07 has been gutted).

  • pull funds from areas that the OMB has declared “wasteful,” “obsolete” or “duplicative.”
  • give NASA $1billion from a 6.8billion stash of Homeland Security Funds that haven’t been spent in 3 years (”In other words, make Homeland Security spend $1 billion of their unspent surplus before we give them another $1 billion, and use that $1 billion now where it is needed most for the nation’s security in the future – for scientific research and planetary exploration that NASA is now canceling.”)

Culbertson is really pulling for the Europa mission, which has been declared the single most important mission to the outer planets, and is being pretty much starved out of existence. [2020Hindsight]

Next Stop Venus

The Venus Express is on its way to the second planet.

Next Stop Venus: Europe’s Express Probe Launches Toward Earth’s ‘Twin’ [Space.com]
A European probe is bound for the planet Venus on a mission to peel back the shroud of the planet’s thick atmosphere after successfully launching into space atop a Russian rocket.

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Venus Express spacecraft rode a Russian-built Soyuz rocket into space at about 10:33 p.m. Nov. 8 EST (0333 Nov. 9 GMT), lifting off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a 162-day trip to the second planet from the Sun.(…)

“I have great expectations for this mission,” Venus Express project scientist Håkan Svedhem told SPACE.com in an e-mail interview before launch. “I am sure we will get very exciting data and perhaps a few surprises.”