And so it begins. As leaks of the FY 2013 NASA budget begin to trickle out the special intrests groups are beginning to worry. Here is a piece of analysis that actually frames the argument pretty well. While old space continues to chug along consuming a larger peice of the NASA pie, new space will get by with what it has. It is interesting to see how the author here thinks that the government is trying to slow down "new space". Here is the pull quote:
Some of those in our space community have viewed TPIS as too confrontational when it comes to JWST. We say too bad. While no one is disputing the power of the JWST if it was ever to become operational, we are disputing the cost and say it will never leave terra firma and we should shift resources to missions that have a chance of actually doing something.
Back on October 4th of 2011 TEA Party in Space reported that Nobel Prize scientists acknowledged that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was killing science. Our position was mocked and ridiculed. Supporters of the JWST said that the information was taken out of context (I guess you needed an IQ over 140 to think that).
As if things couldn’t get worse for James Webb, it does. As reported in Space News, the mere existence of JWST is delaying science at a minimum. TPIS believes it will kill science missions for Science Mission Directorate (SMD). Who wants to wait around while this monstrosity of a project dies a slow painful death? The good people will simply move on and the next generation of explorers will be let down by the latter… but at least you tried, right?
We at TEA Party in Space have been railing against JWST because not only is fiscally irresponsible, but it also kills science. We had the JWST question and answer people tell us we were wrong, that JWST did not kill science. We had scientists say we didn't know what we were talking about, even when their colleagues email us and tell us how jacked up "JW" really is. We know where the bodies are buried.
It is bad. It is REALLY bad. JWST continues to spin his Webb. While I was listening to the webinar I could not help but laugh when the JWST scientists claimed JWST was not hurting science. Of course this is a flat out lie. The speaker put up a slide that showed JWST would take money from heliophysics, astrophysics, and planetary science. Earth science, which studies how our climate changes, was untouched. Space News has an article up detailing the science cuts.
The once heralded James Webb Space Telescope is cocooning missions like Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and the Space Interferometery Mission (SIM). At the same time JWST is threatening to suck the blood (money) from such missions as Kepler. The latest article from the LA Times reports that the JWST is getting so big it is threatening all missions, just not astrophysics.