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Cancelling WFIRST Will Permanently Ruin NASA

27 Feb 2018, 15:01 UTC
Cancelling WFIRST Will Permanently Ruin NASA
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A conceptual image of NASA’s WFIRST satellite, set to launch in 2024 and give us our most precise measurements ever of dark energy, among other incredible cosmic finds.(NASA/GSFC/Conceptual Image Lab)There are no punches to pull here. If America believes in science, research, or basic truths about the Universe, we cannot cancel this mission.Last week, the White House released their plans for the 2018 fiscal year budget. Across many metrics and departments, it was a bloodbath, gutting about $50 billion from agencies focused on science, health, food, arts, humanities, the environment, and education, among many others. But among the reductions was one murderous stroke to NASA: the elimination its flagship mission of the coming decade, WFIRST. The Wide-Field Infrared Space Telescope was chosen by NASA to be the single most important astrophysics mission of the 2020s, and has been in the early planning stages for nearly 20 years. Countless astronomers and astrophysicists have spend their entire professional lives working to make this mission happen, and teach us things we’ll never know, otherwise, about the Universe. Cancelling it is a decision that must be revoked, or NASA will cease to be the leading science and space agency for planet Earth.An artist’s rendition ...

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