Thursday, February 16

Griffin under fire

NASA chief Mike Griffin had to defend his agency's budget request before Congress today, and boy was he on the hotseat. Before he even started, the Planetary Society announced a major campaign opposing this budget's proposal's slashing of science in favor of a moribund space shuttle and a never-to-be-finished space station. PlanSoc prez Lou Friedman says "the Bush Administration's proposed 5-year budget for NASA, just submitted to Congress, is an attack on science."
The society's statement goes on "the Planetary Society supports space ventures. We have supported the shuttle: it has been a great technical achievement, unequalled on Earth. We have supported the International Space Station." However, it says, "we cannot support a proposal that hobbles, or eventually destroys, the NASA science program." Strong stuff.
The Congressmen came out loaded for bear at Thursday's hearing as well. "This budget is bad for space science, worse for earth science, even worse for aeronautics," said the committee's chairman, U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New York. "It basically cuts or de-emphasizes every forward-looking truly futuristic program of the agency."


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