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Speak Your Mind: Mars v. Saturn

For fans of space and science, this paragraph from a recent article in Wired should send chills down your spin:

This year NASA received $16.9 billion, which may sound like a lot but, once adjusted for inflation, is roughly what the agency got back in 1986. Just $1.27 billion of that budget goes into funding all robotic exploration in the solar system. And most space policy experts don’t see that number going up anytime in the near future. In 2014, NASA will put many of its robotic missions through what’s known as a senior review. Administrators will have to decide which of its missions will yield the highest scientific return and may recommend canceling some of them.

Nooooo!!!!! Say it ain’t so! Don’t cancel any of the science! What’s worse, two of NASA’s flagship missions – Curiosity and Cassini – are now competing for money.

I’m not going to lie, I’m lean toward Team Cassini. Not that it wouldn’t be a tragedy to cancel any of the Mars missions, but…eh. Cassini is exploring a truly alien world. That just gets my imagination running in a way that Mars doesn’t.

So, Cassini v. Curiosity. Saturn v. Mars. Who should win in a head-to-head battle for the future of space research?

Featured image credit: NASA

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Mindy is an attorney and Managing Editor of Teen Skepchick. She hates the law and loves stars. You can follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

1 Comment

  1. November 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm —

    I think I would Cassini would be more interesting, but I know this may sound bad, but let’s scrap both and build a ‘B’ ark for the tea-party republicans. We can convince them that a giant mutant star-obama is on its away and that they should get in the ark. If they ask why they are the only ones boarding the ‘B’ Ark, we’ll just tell them that the rest of the society will get in ‘A’ ark and ‘C’ ark. (This is not likely to happen, as it would require a combination of empathy and curiosity that teapartiers aren’t known to have.) And once ‘B’ ark is safely away, we can go back and fund both.

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