Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dwindling US Space Budget Worries Scientist

The landing of two Americans on the moon, in July 1969, was among the most inspiring scientific and technical achievements in human history. But today, both the political will and federal funding to sustain that level of achievement appear to have waned.

It's a trend that troubles astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, an outspoken advocate for space research and exploration. The director of the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York, he's written a dozen books on the topic, including his latest: "Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier."

Tyson grew up during the 1960s and 70s, an era of optimism for space exploration which led to the moon landing and the space shuttle program. It was also an era of generous federal funding for NASA.

But Tyson believes that era is over. The Obama Administration recently proposed deep cuts in the 2013 budget for the U.S. space agency, almost a year after it shut down the 30-year-old space shuttle program. Read More