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[R.Zubrin Op-Ed] A Purpose-Driven Space Program?

2 Mar 2018, 21:10 UTC
[R.Zubrin Op-Ed] A Purpose-Driven Space Program?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

A Purpose-Driven Space Program?
By Dr. Robert Zubrin, National Review, 03.02.18
On February 12th the Trump administration revealed its proposed budget for NASA. While the $19 billion in total funding provided was not much different from the levels approved by the Obama and Bush administrations, the new plan did manage to increase the incoherence in space-agency thinking to truly remarkable levels.
Particularly outstanding examples of illogic were the administration’s decisions to cancel the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) while proceeding with a lunar-orbiting space station dubbed Deep Space Gateway.
WFIRST is a 2.4-meter space telescope with capabilities superior to Hubble, made possible on a bargain budget of $3 billion by the donation to NASA of a surplus spy satellite by the National Reconnaissance Office. It promises breakthrough discoveries of exoplanets and could potentially reveal the truth about the nature of the dark energy that is driving the expansion of the universe, and numerous other questions in astrophysics. It has been approved and strongly backed as a top priority by every scientific review committee advising the government.
Deep Space Gateway (recently renamed Lunar Orbital Platform–Gateway), on the other hand, is a boondoggle that will cost several tens of billions of ...

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