A Message to Congress - Please Don’t Kill A Successful Science Mission
I’ll keep this short, because I don’t need to rant. Plenty of other places to read said rants.
The NASA FY15 budget is out. Its not the worst, but its not great. I understand we’re all making sacrifices and budgets are slimmer. You’ll notice they requested less than they received last year, so they’re playing ball. What concerns me is because of said cuts, they had to move a very successful, operational mission to a wish list, in hopes you’ll over-fund their request, allowing it to continue. The Mars Opportunity Rover has been running for 10 years. FAR longer than its initial couple month estimate. Not only is that unbelievably impressive, but the science its delivered is unprecedented. How could it even be considered, for a second, to possible shutter this program after 10 years of brilliance. Not only is it a testament to the capability of humans when they put their minds to it, but its a screaming success for science & engineering, two things we seem to be so desperately trying to save from being shoved under the rug by the dis-believing, ignorant majority in this country. Its a sad day when a science mission, that traveled hundreds of millions of miles, performed flawlessly and lived about 9 years (and counting) longer than expected, would be considered something worthy of cutting from a budget.
Please do not let this stunning example of human excellence be junked. Its role in the bigger picture is more valuable than your election cycle and that should mean something. There are so few things that truly inspire future generations, this should continue to be one.
Please do not cut the Mars Opportunity Rover funding one second sooner than its ability to operate ends. Thank you for your consideration.