Monday, February 06, 2006

NASA - end of the Universe

Here is full NASA budget in detail

Universe begins in the main section, page 40 (SMD 2-40)

They're looking at near constant dollar funding for '07 and '08 (ie effective cuts) and 10% cuts in the out years!

OK: Navigator (ie the TPF and planet finder line) is cut about 12% with promised ramp up in 2009.
Basically that would be when HST development ends and HST had MODA funding only (assuming HST survives till 2009)

Discovery and Explorer lines are cut - there is a competition for a new Discovery mission now - looks like one will be Solar System and one NOT Universe, and then NOTHING until 2012. So good luck to whoever gets it, Kepler will be the last mission for the next five years under this plan. See page 3-32

Universe Research (ie actual science research done at universities and labs) is level funded for two years and then projected to slide in the out years for a net 10-15% cut in constant dollars over the next 5 years.

Beyond Einstein is ramped up from $14 million to $21 million - less than 2005 funding.
So that keeps the labs and science definition teams alive, but makes no progress towards actual missions until a 2009 ramp up.

Funny a LOT of things are going to ramp up in 2009.

The commentary is explicit: TPF is not indefinitely postponed.
Keck Outriggers are abandoned.
SIM is delayed by 3 years and "replanned" (ie descoped)

JWST is 2013 at the earliest
SOFIA is zeroed out?! WTF is going on there, can someone clue me in to what "on-going project concerns" are?
Only last month I was told in downtown DC that SOFIA was go and people should prepare for data.

LISA and Con-X are indefinitely postponed.
SNAPJDEM pre-development studies are it for Beyond Einstein line.

For those who don't remember, Beyond Einstein was a State of the Union 2003 initiative backed by the White House, in the last 3 years essentially all the components have been indefinitely postponed. JDEM is a DoE mission with serious backing from them and NASA forced on board (it is a good mission concept).

ESA will be absolutely furious beyond reason about LISA postponement, they just got a memorandum of understanding on that and they are proceeding towards a 2013 launch, unless something happened in the last couple of weeks.

The ramp down in Universe Research is very, very scary, Lot of people are going to be totally screwed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems pretty dumb to cut the Discovery and Explorer lines after all the great work that has been done. This is particularly true of Discovery missions, each of which costs less than what it costs to make a major motion picture with special effects.

7:19 PM  

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