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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 09:16 PM
Original message
WP: Historic Voyager Mission May Lose Its Funding
Historic Voyager Mission May Lose Its Funding

By Guy Gugliotta
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 4, 2005; Page A08


In a cost-cutting move prompted by President Bush's moon-Mars initiative, NASA could summarily put an end to Voyager, the legendary 28-year mission that has sent a spacecraft farther from Earth than any object ever made by humans.

The probable October shutdown of a program that currently costs $4.2 million a year has caused consternation among scientists who have shepherded the twin Voyager probes on flybys of four planets and an epic journey to the frontier of interstellar space.

"There are no other plans to reach the edge of the solar system," said Stamatios Krimigis, a lead investigator for the project since before its launch in 1977. "Now we're getting all this new information, and here comes NASA saying, 'We want to pull the plug.' "

NASA officials said the possibility of cutting Voyager and several other long-running missions in the Earth-Sun Exploration Division arose in February, when the Bush administration proposed slashing the division's 2006 budget by nearly one-third -- from $75 million to $53 million.

The administration is rearranging NASA's finances to fund Bush's "Vision for Space Exploration" to the moon and eventually Mars. Cuts in aeronautics funding prompted by the initiative have already provoked an uproar at some NASA centers....


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23500-20...
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hubble, the shuttle, now this
:cry:
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's kind of like his tax cuts for the rich. It forces a crisis
then that crises is used to cut needed or popular programs.
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. Ah, more stupid crap.
Does anybody seriously think that this loony moon/Mars mission is ever going to happen? Sure it sounds like it would be yet another great handout to Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Honeywell, Boeing, and others, but aren't they busy enough right now with what's going on in Iraq?
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Big rockets... really big rockets...
... are the name of the game here--lots of money for r&d, lots of money for production tooling, etc.

None of the production tooling for the Saturn Vs is left--all of that was destroyed by the early `80s, as were the launch pads, so it means starting fresh--which requires lots of money.

As you've mentioned, this is a big handout to the major contractors, but with a purpose--it's meant to hide US Space Command plans for warfare in space inside the NASA budget, because the costs of throw-weight are going to be considerable for either program--moonbase/Mars or weaponizing space.... :grr:
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goodboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'd like to send the Bush administration to the edge of the solar system.
or the center of the sun...
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. Wow. This decision is even stupider than the one where they let the Hubble
fall out of the sky.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-05 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #5
15. Their disregard for science is astonishing, and infuriating --
:mad:
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. Naturally, Voyager is about to cross the cusp of our solar system
Edited on Sun Apr-03-05 09:58 PM by whistle
...and send back vital data about just what that consists of for more basic scientific information and the ignorant and intolerants want to prevent that from happening. Carl Sagan is turning over in his grave, I'll bet :banghead:

<add edit> "...finances to fund Bush's "Vision for Space Exploration" to the moon and eventually Mars" is of course another Bush boondoogle for the militarization of space.
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obxhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
8. Why the "mission to Mars" BS
We're cutting funding to ALL forms of space exploration it seems, why BS us about this whole "Mars" crap.
#@%$
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. The problem has always been NASA's manned programs
They have produced little science and have costs bundles of money, not to mention lives.

Robotic missions are the best way to explore our solar system!
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obxhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I kind of agree
Yet now their cancelling those "robots" too.
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rayofreason Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
11. NASA vision
Cutting back on Space Station, phasing out Shuttle, and going to a Moon/Mars orientation basically sounds like a good idea to me. There is much better science that can be done, and exploration of Mars is the nearest term thing that we can do to answer the question "Is there or has there ever been life beyond the Earth?" - which is the greatest answerable scientific question in the next two decades.

On the other hand, cutting off money for Voyager (and Polar, and Wind, and IMP-8, and Image, and all the other operational scientific spacecraft that will get the ax) is penny-wise and pound-foolish. I believe that it is being driven by the manned space crowd in NASA, who to save just a bit for astronaut training (dressed up with no place to go) will take the money that will come from the shut down of all of these missions. Want to make a change? Call your Representatives and tell them not to gut NASA space science.
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grytpype Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
12. How depressing!
But everything must be sacrificed for Dear Leader's Vision of Space Exploration!

That asshole!
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neverforget Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
13. can we cut funding to the White House?
:shrug:
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quaoar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. When V-Ger returns to Earth
seeking the creator, it will also be looking to settle the score with the guy who pulled the plug.
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