“U.S. President Barack Obama has proposed a funding boost for NASA that provides more support for Earth sciences missions and aviation, while keeping the agency’s three space shuttles on target for a 2010 retirement.
NASA would receive $18.7 billion for the 2010 fiscal year under the budget proposal released by the White House on Thursday. That would be an increase from the $17.2 billion NASA received in 2008 and represents an overall boost of more than $2.4 billion for the space agency when coupled with the additional $1 billion it received in the recent economic stimulus bill.
The budget calls on NASA to complete International Space Station construction, as well as continue its Earth science missions and aviation research. Yet it also remains fixed to former President George W. Bush’s plan to retire the space shuttle fleet by 2010 and replace them with the new Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, which would fly astronauts to the space station and return them to the moon by 2020.
The outline does make room for an extra shuttle flight beyond the nine currently remaining on NASA’s schedule, but only if it is deemed safe and can be flown before the end of 2010.
“The $18.7 billion budget proposal for 2010 is fiscally responsible and reflects the administration’s desire for a robust and innovative agency aligned with the president’s goals of advancing our nation’s scientific, educational, economic and security interests,” said Acting NASA Administrator Chris Scolese in a statement. “This budget ensures NASA maintains its global leadership in Earth and space research, and it advances global climate change studies, funds a robust program of human and robotic space exploration, allows us to realize the full potential of the International Space Station, advances development of new space transportation systems, and renews our commitment to aeronautics.”
There goes the opinion that Mr. Obama will gut the space program. He proved a lot of folks wrong. Myself included.
The budget isn’t set in stone though. Congress has yet to approve the bill.
From the Cult of SETI:
“In the 1970s, a small group of Canadian astronomers thought they had a method for finding planets around other stars. Their intention was not to see the planets directly, but to measure the planets’ effect on their host stars; the wobble that their host stars would have as a consequence of the planets existence. The Canadians built the requisite technology, a very sophisticated spectrometer, and looked at a half dozen stars. They didn’t find any planets. However, had they not given up so quickly, had they had a certain amount of persistence and looked at more candidate stellar systems, they would have been the first to find planets orbiting other stars. As it happens, that honor went to a couple of Swiss astronomers in 1995. It’s been 13 years since the first planet around an ordinary star was found. 51Peg was that planet, and it caused a sensation. Since then there have been over 300 planets found. That’s a lot of planet pleasure.
As those of you who are familiar with this field are aware, many of these planets are very large and very close to their suns. They are so-called hot Jupiters. They have other unfortunate properties that suggest that while there are a lot of worlds out there, many of them hardly seem like the kind of worlds with a chance for life. But that situation is changing as the data continue to come in.
There is a strong tendency for planets we find to be very close to their stars, but that’s the result of an obvious selection effect. The planets that are close to their stars are the easiest to detect.”
This is an interview with Tori Hoehler by Seth Shostak, SETI scientist and UFO debunker.
Read the mainstream version of finding ETL/ETI and form your own conclusions.
Hey, I enjoy these interviews!
And why is SETI called a “cult” by certain people?
Because it is based on a belief that is yet to be proven, i.e., that the Universe has other intelligent species and that they’ll communicate by radio waves.
Anyone who thinks that alien life would communicate by other means, or that they already might be investigating Earth, are immediately and rabidly attacked as delusional, and thusly, heretics:
PH: But while the SETI people are telling the UFO people, “you don’t have any evidence,” the UFO people are telling the SETI people, “you have even less evidence than we do.”
SS: Yes, that’s quite right, but we don’t claim that we’ve found them. That’s a big difference. They do claim that they’re here.
PH: Don’t you think that the tremendous ridicule that surrounds the UFO subject really prevents academics from looking into it?
SS: There may be something to that. It may apply to 90 percent of scientists. But scientists are well aware of many instances in which something that was very radical turned out to be true. It happens over and over again in science; that’s the way science makes the big steps. So I don’t think they would all be scared off by the fact that it’s considered radical or non-mainstream. Continental drift was not very popular at the beginning, but it gained adherents rather quickly. As soon as you have a trickle of evidence, that trickle turns into a torrent, and then what was radical yesterday is today mainstream. Now I don’t see that happening with the UFO phenomenon. ( link )
And of course, competing for private funds is there also as the interviewer points out.
I don’t know, I think the whole thing amusing and good theater! Wouldn’t it be ironic that both groups could be right in their own way?
With quantum entanglement and our increasing prowess in long range sensing/viewing technology, couldn’t we be spied upon/visited by non-corporeal entities?
Truth is always stranger than assumptions/theories/fiction. 8)
Other posts comparing SETI with religions: