Due to the dysfunctional (i.e. Republican) Congress, funding for the Spitzer Space Telescope is in jeopardy. Not only Spitzer but eight other ongoing space missions may have to be terminated for lack of funds.
In a report released May 19, NASA’s Science-Review Panel (SRP) stated that:
“The operation of the nation’s space-borne observatories is so severely impacted by the current funding climate in Washington that the SRP feels that American preeminence in the study of the universe from space is threatened to the point of irreparable damage if additional funds cannot be found to fill the projected funding gaps.”Of course, anyone with a brain and ten fingers can figure out that the tax subsidies to giant oil companies, not to mention those to giant agribusiness and tax breaks that allow General Electric, the most profitable company in the history of the earth (among others) to get off without paying one dime in taxes—of these robberies which allow tens of billions of dollars every year to be siphoned from the public purse, surely someone can find $16 million to keep a vital spacecraft running and producing science, and thus keeping many scientists employed and the facilities at which they work operating?
The GOP is always honking about “American exceptionalism”. They must mean exceptionally stupid, since their priority of always shoveling ever more billions to people who already have plenty, at the expense of the tiniest support for what truly makes America exceptional—its science and scientific inquiry—is pretty damned dumb.