Friday, January 12, 2007

More news on NASA's 07 budget

Well, it's not looking good for science. This article in Aviation Week talks about the funding situation and Griffin's priorities for making up the 1/2 billion in shortfalls due to the continuing resolution situation.

"We will find what we believe are the lowest priority half-billion dollars in content, and we'll extract it, across the agency," he says, stressing that does not mean programs at the core of the redirected U.S. space program as defined by President Bush almost three years ago.

"I will do everything I can to keep Orion and Ares I on schedule," he says. "That will be right behind keeping shuttle and station on track, and then after that we'll fill up the bucket with our other priorities."

None of this is surprising of course, and Griffin really has no choice, there just is not enough money to go around. The important thing is that the money we have for science is spent wisely. Griffin's plan, as he's said many times in the past is to target "...a fairly new, lower priority effort where not a lot of money has already been invested, and by stopping it now you can react and not have to spend future money that you know you're not going to get." This, in the abstract, is the right plan, but reality is never quite so simple.

The truth is that from the day he took over, Griffin has already been facing an impossible task, expected to accomplish too much with too little. Unfortunately, the continuing resolution issue has seriously compounded his problems this year. I wish him luck.

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