• The Countdown 7/6/2011

    Nature had a lot of cool stuff in it today. Let’s get to it:

    3… I know that a decent percentage of our audience is composed of early-career planetary scientists. Well, right now, there’s a dearth of mission-oriented talent in our generation, according to a Nature News piece. We need to start getting involved in missions so that we can lead when it’s our turn to explore the other bodies in the solar system. Get to it, folks.

    2… Nature News also weighed in on what the last shuttle launch means. This is a pretty well-balanced piece, and captures a lot of what I feel on the matter. The shuttle has done some amazing things, but it also fell short of its promise, and the time has come to chase the frontier again.

    1… The U.S. House Appropriations Committee released it’s Fiscal Year 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations. As one might expect, it isn’t pretty. Lots of deep cuts to science compared to the President’s budget. Most notable is a huge cut to NASA’s science budget, most of which comes from terminating JWST.

    … given the last item, and the need for a pick-me-up with all the bad news….. LAUNCH!