Bring me your tired, your poor, your Hubbled masses
Today's announcement about Hubble servicing mission cancellation sucks. Back in summer, when hints of the CAIB conclusions were leading to a "it's not safe, so scrap the Hubble resupply mission" I thought, WTF?! For all the discussion about science, there's tons more science being done from Hubble than from the ISS.
It's Friday before a 3-day holiday weekend. The timing of this announcement reeks of those bad news corporate announcements that come out on a Friday before holiday weekend. By weekend's end, the story is buried. Not this one. Not this one.
And, of course, there's the Google calculator.
Additionally, Nasawatch has a comments page.
[T]he timeline and scope provide ample opportunity for private space enterprise to prove its claims. The President has made his announcement and hit the button of his obligation here. He has honored the ideal that was NASA, and provided a cover to try to re-organize and re-focus the agency. In so doing, he has also effectively issued a challenge to the private sector: do it better and do it faster.
UPDATE: A couple of items about financing Moon/Mars, courtesy of Glenn Reynolds: Charles Krauthammer says Yoohoo, Critics and How-can-we-afford-it? nay-sayers: Doncha get that the funds are going to come from the Shuttle program once it's phased out? (well, he says it better) Kenneth Silber says more up-front cash is needed, and proposes Space Bonds.
And, from a different Glenn--Former Senator (D-Ohio) John Glenn--doubts that rearranging $11 billion of existing NASA budget will be enough.