Not All Who Wonder Are Lost

nowyoukno:


Now You Know (Source)

sagansense:

Reid Gower, creator of “The Sagan Series,” put together this interpretation of what a NASA promo video could look like.

Federal law prohibits NASA from purchasing advertising time, but doesn’t prevent independent organizations from advocating on behalf of NASA.

NASA’s budget is often in danger of being slashed. Hypothetically, if someone was to buy an advertising slot for a commercial like this, do you think there would be enough interest and support for the agency to turn the budget back around?

At the moment, dangers to NASA’s budget include scares for Cassini, the Mars Curiosity Rover, and the agency’s Planetary Science department. As these projects, along with others, have marked milestones in space exploration, the news is, unsurprisingly, not well-received by people working in the space agency.

Take action by telling Congress that you want double-funding for NASA.

Watch Reid Gower’s Unofficial NASA TV Spot.

Read more…

Source: pennyfournasa

(Source: pennyfornasa)

sagansense:


NASA’s yearly budget as % of federal budget

via datarep

sagansense:

NASA’s yearly budget as % of federal budget

via datarep

image

jtotheizzoe:

Read this from chels (my comments are below):

popculturebrain:

Neil deGrasse Tyson has a few things to say about ‘Gravity’ | BuzzFeed

Because we don’t all have the education or knowledge to be able to imagine ourselves in space the way a cinematic masterpiece can place us there. It’s not that mysterious, you pretentious windbag. 
I have so many problems with Neil deGrasse Tyson’s approach to science communication, and usually I just pass it off as “eh, this guy ain’t for me,” but this tweet really makes me angry. Sometimes he knows how to spin a soundbite, but more often than not, he comes off as condescending and pedantic. So why do we enjoy this “make-believe space” more than the reality of manned space missions?
How about this: how about the notion that film has the capability to show us realities outside our own, to take us places most people will never go. 
How about the fact that our government and our public education system place little emphasis on the importance of science and the endeavor of spaceflight, making it hard for people to really understand what it takes to put humans on the International Space Station.
How about the idea that a filmmaker can say more in 90 minutes than NASA can say in 10 years of press releases. 
Or how about this: art is the lens through which science transforms into wonder. We can do all the most amazing science in the world, but if we don’t have eloquent, engaging, inclusive science communicators (even if they happen to be film directors in disguise) then the work will remain a mystery to the public. 
I’ve heard there are scientific inaccuracies in this movie, and I hardly care. If the most talked about movie of the season is one that centers on astronauts, a spacewalk, and satellites, I’d say we’re on the right track. I’m seeing the film on Tuesday and I can’t wait to be wowed. 
(See also: the best response to this tweet)

In general, I like NdT a lot. Certainly more than Chelsea does. But I have to agree with her here. I’m pretty sure that Neil was really just trying to fire up support for our manned space program in a time of epic governmental nincompoopery, this is kind of a clumsy way to do it, and he sounds like a bit of an ass.
Someone’s love for a sci-fi movie that is set in space does not preclude them from also loving actual people in space, and Chels lays out some excellent reasons (I particularly like the “art is the lens through science…” part). Especially when the director of that movie goes to such great lengths to get things scientifically right. Plus there’s that response tweet at the bottom, which is the sickest burn.
There’s also the fact that NdT is just plain wrong. Gravity set a record for October movies with a $55.6 million opening weekend haul. With an average national ticket price approaching $9, this means that a hair under 6.2 million people went to see Gravity this weekend. That’s way more people than would ever watch real people in space right?
Wrong. To date, more than 9.1 million people have watched Chris Hadfield wring out a washcloth from the ISS. And that’s just one video. I’m not an astrophysicist, only a humble biologist, but I am pretty sure that 9 million is more than 6 million.
I’ll forgive NdT for this, because I sense that his heart was in the right place, but loving Gravity does not a space-hater make. To me, the fact that this movie exists at all is proof of how many people are looking up.
If you want another way to fire up support for our space program, maybe this is a good time for me to plug my YouTube video about that?

jtotheizzoe:

Read this from chels (my comments are below):

popculturebrain:

Neil deGrasse Tyson has a few things to say about ‘Gravity’ | BuzzFeed

Because we don’t all have the education or knowledge to be able to imagine ourselves in space the way a cinematic masterpiece can place us there. It’s not that mysterious, you pretentious windbag. 

I have so many problems with Neil deGrasse Tyson’s approach to science communication, and usually I just pass it off as “eh, this guy ain’t for me,” but this tweet really makes me angry. Sometimes he knows how to spin a soundbite, but more often than not, he comes off as condescending and pedantic. So why do we enjoy this “make-believe space” more than the reality of manned space missions?

How about this: how about the notion that film has the capability to show us realities outside our own, to take us places most people will never go. 

How about the fact that our government and our public education system place little emphasis on the importance of science and the endeavor of spaceflight, making it hard for people to really understand what it takes to put humans on the International Space Station.

How about the idea that a filmmaker can say more in 90 minutes than NASA can say in 10 years of press releases. 

Or how about this: art is the lens through which science transforms into wonder. We can do all the most amazing science in the world, but if we don’t have eloquent, engaging, inclusive science communicators (even if they happen to be film directors in disguise) then the work will remain a mystery to the public. 

I’ve heard there are scientific inaccuracies in this movie, and I hardly care. If the most talked about movie of the season is one that centers on astronauts, a spacewalk, and satellites, I’d say we’re on the right track. I’m seeing the film on Tuesday and I can’t wait to be wowed. 

(See also: the best response to this tweet)

In general, I like NdT a lot. Certainly more than Chelsea does. But I have to agree with her here. I’m pretty sure that Neil was really just trying to fire up support for our manned space program in a time of epic governmental nincompoopery, this is kind of a clumsy way to do it, and he sounds like a bit of an ass.

Someone’s love for a sci-fi movie that is set in space does not preclude them from also loving actual people in space, and Chels lays out some excellent reasons (I particularly like the “art is the lens through science…” part). Especially when the director of that movie goes to such great lengths to get things scientifically right. Plus there’s that response tweet at the bottom, which is the sickest burn.

There’s also the fact that NdT is just plain wrong. Gravity set a record for October movies with a $55.6 million opening weekend haul. With an average national ticket price approaching $9, this means that a hair under 6.2 million people went to see Gravity this weekend. That’s way more people than would ever watch real people in space right?

Wrong. To date, more than 9.1 million people have watched Chris Hadfield wring out a washcloth from the ISSAnd that’s just one video. I’m not an astrophysicist, only a humble biologist, but I am pretty sure that 9 million is more than 6 million.

I’ll forgive NdT for this, because I sense that his heart was in the right place, but loving Gravity does not a space-hater make. To me, the fact that this movie exists at all is proof of how many people are looking up.

If you want another way to fire up support for our space program, maybe this is a good time for me to plug my YouTube video about that?

sagansense:

The Pirate Party of Russia has offered NASA the use of its dedicated servers to temporarily host the US space agency’s website as it has been shut down “due to the lapse in federal government funding.” NASA was supposed to be marking its 55th birthday this week, but the US space agency gave furlough notices, not birthday invitations, to nearly all of its 18,000 employees, and began fretting about future missions as funding dried up with the US government shutdown.
“We would like to offer you bulletproof collocation or dedicated servers on our hosting platform till the end of the crisis,” the Pirate Party said in a statement posted on its website Thursday.
“We stand for Internet privacy, and as the result you would not have to worry about programs such as PRISM and other illegal activities of secret services of different countries. Your traffic, your activity and the activity of your users will be in safety,” the statement said.
The Pirate Party, founded in 2009, is active in Russia as a public movement, but the Justice Ministry has refused to register it as a political party, claiming that the name “pirate” is a reference to a criminal offense.
It claims representation in 48 regions of Russia with 5,000 applicants and at least 30,000 supporters. The stated goals of the party include promoting e-democracy, the freedom of information and the protection of personal privacy.
The party reportedly operates on a monthly budget of 6,000 rubles ($200) and a dedicated grassroots effort.
Join Astro Watch on Twitter for the latest updates!
Source: astrowatch

sagansense:

The Pirate Party of Russia has offered NASA the use of its dedicated servers to temporarily host the US space agency’s website as it has been shut down “due to the lapse in federal government funding.” NASA was supposed to be marking its 55th birthday this week, but the US space agency gave furlough notices, not birthday invitations, to nearly all of its 18,000 employees, and began fretting about future missions as funding dried up with the US government shutdown.

“We would like to offer you bulletproof collocation or dedicated servers on our hosting platform till the end of the crisis,” the Pirate Party said in a statement posted on its website Thursday.

“We stand for Internet privacy, and as the result you would not have to worry about programs such as PRISM and other illegal activities of secret services of different countries. Your traffic, your activity and the activity of your users will be in safety,” the statement said.

The Pirate Party, founded in 2009, is active in Russia as a public movement, but the Justice Ministry has refused to register it as a political party, claiming that the name “pirate” is a reference to a criminal offense.

It claims representation in 48 regions of Russia with 5,000 applicants and at least 30,000 supporters. The stated goals of the party include promoting e-democracy, the freedom of information and the protection of personal privacy.

The party reportedly operates on a monthly budget of 6,000 rubles ($200) and a dedicated grassroots effort.

Join Astro Watch on Twitter for the latest updates!

Source: astrowatch

distant-traveller:

Government shutdown stops MAVEN work; threatens Mars launch

The upcoming Nov. 18 blastoff of NASA’s next mission to Mars – the “breathtaking beautiful” MAVEN orbiter – is threatened by today’s (Oct. 1) shutdown of the US Federal Government. And the team is very “concerned”, although not yet “panicked.”
MAVEN’s on time launch is endangered by the endless political infighting in Washington DC. And the bitter gridlock could cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars or more on this mission alone!
Why? Because launch preparations at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) have ceased today when workers were ordered to stay home, said the missions top scientist in an exclusive to Universe Today.
The nominal interplanetary launch window for NASA’s $650 Million MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission) mission to study the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere only extends about three weeks until Dec. 7.
If MAVEN misses the window of opportunity this year, liftoff atop the Atlas V rocket would have to be postponed until early 2016 because the Earth and Mars only align favorably for launches every 26 months.
Any launch delay could potentially add upwards of tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in unbudgeted costs to maintain the spacecraft and rocket – and that’s money that NASA absolutely does not have in these fiscally austere times.
MAVEN and much of NASA are not considered “essential” – despite having responsibility for hundreds of ongoing mission operations costing tens of billions of dollars that benefit society here on Earth. So about 97% of NASA employees were furloughed today.

Image credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

distant-traveller:

Government shutdown stops MAVEN work; threatens Mars launch

The upcoming Nov. 18 blastoff of NASA’s next mission to Mars – the “breathtaking beautiful” MAVEN orbiter – is threatened by today’s (Oct. 1) shutdown of the US Federal Government. And the team is very “concerned”, although not yet “panicked.”

MAVEN’s on time launch is endangered by the endless political infighting in Washington DC. And the bitter gridlock could cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars or more on this mission alone!

Why? Because launch preparations at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) have ceased today when workers were ordered to stay home, said the missions top scientist in an exclusive to Universe Today.

The nominal interplanetary launch window for NASA’s $650 Million MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission) mission to study the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere only extends about three weeks until Dec. 7.

If MAVEN misses the window of opportunity this year, liftoff atop the Atlas V rocket would have to be postponed until early 2016 because the Earth and Mars only align favorably for launches every 26 months.

Any launch delay could potentially add upwards of tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in unbudgeted costs to maintain the spacecraft and rocket – and that’s money that NASA absolutely does not have in these fiscally austere times.

MAVEN and much of NASA are not considered “essential” – despite having responsibility for hundreds of ongoing mission operations costing tens of billions of dollars that benefit society here on Earth. So about 97% of NASA employees were furloughed today.

Image credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

(Source: universetoday.com)

sagansense:

Which federal agencies are untouched, and which are ghost towns?

Congress’ failure to pass a budget has led to a federal government shutdown, but some offices are emptier than others on Tuesday because some federal workers are deemed too essential to stop working and certain agencies have independent sources of funding.

Hardest hit by the shutdown are NASA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Education, and the Environmental Protection Agency. These agencies and others have basically gone on life support, with nine out of 10 employees furloughed, according to the Washington Post.

The effect of the shutdown on the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and Department of Defense is comparatively slight, with less than 20 percent of employees furloughed in each.

The Federal Reserve and the Postal Service will continue operating because they are self-funded agencies, and the State Department has the funding to operate normally and issue passports for a limited time.

For a full rundown of how the shutdown is impacting the services of each of these agencies, head to the Washington Post.

Correction, Oct. 1, 2013: This article originally understated the proportion of employees of the Department of Defense who have been furloughed. About 18 percent of the department’s total employees have been furloughed, not 5 percent. This article also originally misstated that 91 percent of SEC employees have been furloughed. The SEC has the funds to continue running normally for a few more weeks.

Source: Slate

jtotheizzoe:

The Mars Curiosity rover is just killing time during the government shutdown doing some artistic self portraits … on NASA’s birthday no less!
(original)
Here’s how science will be affected thanks to Congress’ inability to agree on a budget, or really anything.

jtotheizzoe:

The Mars Curiosity rover is just killing time during the government shutdown doing some artistic self portraits … on NASA’s birthday no less!

(original)

Here’s how science will be affected thanks to Congress’ inability to agree on a budget, or really anything.

sagansense:

via asonlynasacan

sagansense:

Barack Obama on Science, Science Literacy, STEM, Charles Darwin (?), Politics, Truth and Inconsistencies Regarding Facts and Information……..

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imageSequestration and Science (io9)

The “U.S. Effect” on Science (Forbes)

Lobbying for Science Funding (tdp)

Funding Woes Lead US Scientists To Consider Moving Overseas (rsc)

Scientists Laid Off Due To Budget Cuts (cnn money)

Expenditures in the U.S. Federal Budget (wikipedia)

'Naming the Dead' new project lists people killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan (rt)

Pakistani drone victims’ lawyer accuses US of blocking his visit to Congress (theguardian)

US assassination drone strikes kill 11 Afghans in 24 hours (presstv)

Obama says he doesn’t need Congress’ permission to strike Syria (nationaljournal)

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