The Republicans in the House of Representatives have been on a rampage, trying to take as much from the middle class as they’re allowed to, and in many ways, they have succeeded. Now, House Republicans are turning their cross-hairs on NASA and one project they are aiming to shutd0wn is the James Webb Space Telescope, a device that will replace the Hubble Space Telescope, and promises to take space exploration to a whole new level.
Work on the James Webb Space Telescope began in 2004, and had an original cost of $1.6 billion. It is scheduled to launch in 2016 and compared with its more advanced technologies to the Hubble, the James Webb Telescope will be able to go further into space where no man or machine has ever gone – an estimated distance of 1 million miles outside the earth’s atmosphere, capturing images from the formations of galaxies and stars, images never seen by man.
Although the project began 7 years ago, the original costs were grossly understated. The $1.6 billion has ballooned to more than $6.5 billion, and for this reason, House Republicans have voted to strip the James Webb Telescope of $1.9 billion, effectively killing the entire project. The only hope for the project to continue would be the Democratic controlled Senate, who must also vote on the measure.
Tod Lauer, of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, had this to say about the Republican’s decision to defund the project:
“[Cancellation] would be an unmitigated disaster for cosmology. After two decades of pushing the Hubble to its limits, which has revolutionised astronomy, the next step would be to pack up and give up. The Hubble is just good enough to see what we’re missing at the start of time.” The James Webb would be able to fill in those gaps.”
The good thing is, Neil Armstrong already landed on the moon. This batch of Republicans would have tried taking that away too.