Funding Issues for NASA

Funding Issues for NASA’s WFIRST Space Telescope Witness Program

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NASA officials warned this week that even if an astrophysics project managed to avoid termination last year, it may still face budgetary difficulties if it avoids a second risk of termination this year.

NASA’s fiscal year 2020 budget plan does not contain financing for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), which will be the organization’s next big tactical, or flagship, astrophysics mission after the James Webb Space Telescope, which is now under construction. “The program’s enormous expenditure and superior priorities within NASA, including completing the postponed James Webb Space Telescope,” NASA stated in its submission, recommending that the mission be cancelled. When it came to flagship missions, WFIRST came out on top in the most current astrophysics decadal survey, which was published in 2010. Spacecraft with a 2.4-meter key mirror provided to NASA by the National Reconnaissance Office is designed to conduct study on a variety of topics, including dark matter and dark energy, exoplanets, and other extraterrestrial objects. In 2025, the mission, which has a current cost cap of $3.2 billion, will be launched, according to current plans.

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An engineering team made headlines recently when they revealed that they had developed and tested a radically new style of aeroplane wing, which they called the “Flying Wing.” According to reports, this wing is made up of hundreds of little similar components that are joined together. According to the experts, it has the ability to alter shape in order to manage the plane’s flight and has the potential to provide a significant rise in aircraft production, flight, and maintenance efficiency.

The most recent approach to wing construction may provide for better design and manufacturing flexibility in the development and production of new aircraft. The revolutionary wing design was tested in a NASA wind tunnel and can be found in the journal Smart Materials and Structures, which you can access here. In addition to Nicholas Cramer, Research Engineer at NASA Ames in California; Benjamin Jenett, a graduate student in the Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms; MIT graduate Kenneth Cheung, Ph.D. ’07, who is now at NASA Ames; and eight others, this study was co-authored by Cramer, Jenett, and eight others.

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  NASA officials warned this week that even if an astrophysics project managed to avoid termination last year, it may still face budgetary difficulties if it avoids a second risk of termination this year. NASA’s fiscal year 2020 budget plan does not contain financing for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), which will be…

  NASA officials warned this week that even if an astrophysics project managed to avoid termination last year, it may still face budgetary difficulties if it avoids a second risk of termination this year. NASA’s fiscal year 2020 budget plan does not contain financing for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), which will be…

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