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).
There is serious confusion on the political right about what is happening with our nation's space program. Mr. Cal Thomas, who I have the utmost respect for, authored a piece entitled China's JFK Moment which you can read here. I would like to engage Mr. Thomas, not with attacks and hyperbole, but with conservative values and data which certain republicans in congress refuse to acknowledge. It is a truth many conservative republicans do not wish to hear for it makes them think about what they are supporting, and if we are intellectually honest, they will realize what looks like a conservative policy on the outside is nothing more that socialist policies wrapped in conservatism.
The columnist John Kelly from the Florida Today wrote an interesting piece last week entitled: Reader blames leaders for floundering NASA. He quotes an executive coach who makes an amazing statement. The kind of statement that is made by a lot of people in positions of power, almost nonchalantly, when speaking about NASA:
It both confuses me and breaks my heart that NASA continues to operate like a government bureaucracy without direction...
Mr. David Brown, do you not realize that NASA is a government bureaucracy?
This image of the planet Earth from the surface of Mars
Courtesy of the Mars Society and NASA
What a great thing to ponder on a Saturday night: How do we get that view with the resources we have allocated to us?
As we continue to develop the theme of what we can expect to happen with our nation's space program in 2012, it is only fitting we look and see what Buzz Aldrin thinks. And thanks to the Huffington Post, we can! In an article entitled American Space Exploration Leadership -- Why and How, Mr. Aldrin gives his thoughts and ideas for how the United States can get back on track. And I think this is a very important point to understand for those people who do not follow the space program as closely as we do:
As we start 2012 we at TEA Party in Space have put a lot of thought into what we would like to happen with the United States space program in 2012. We as a space community need to be able to explain, articulate why the country's space program is important. Why should we spend ~16.5 billion in FY2013 on this nation's space program? The budget will be somewhere around the FY 2006 level. NASA simply will not have the big bucks to do the big things using the infrastructure in place now.
RIFs will be coming.