Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Daily Caller – The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has just approved a bill which directs NASA to spend more resources exploring space, and less money on Earth sciences, such as climate research.
According to the official government committee website;
“Today’s bill is a step in the right direction to ensure that NASA will continue to innovate and inspire,” stated Chairman Lamar Smith. “The Authorization levels for FY16 and FY17 included in this bill provide NASA with the resources necessary to remain a leader in space exploration in a time of tight budget realities. For more than 50 years, the U.S. has led the world in space exploration. We must restore balance to NASA’s budget if we want to ensure the U.S. continues to lead in space for the next 50 years. And we must continue to invest in NASA as the only government agency responsible for space exploration.”
The Congressional Bill contains the following intriguing statement:
The Administrator shall carry out a scientific assess-
21 ment of the Administration’s Earth science global datasets
22 for the purpose of identifying those datasets that are use-
23 ful for understanding regional changes and variability, and
24 for informing applied science research. The Administrator
25 shall complete and transmit the assessment to the Com-
1 mittee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House
2 of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce,
3 Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than
4 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
My impression is that there is concern NASA is encroaching on NOAA’s turf – that NOAA should do the climate research, and NASA should focus on space research. The alternative, that some of NOAA’s responsibilities and budget could be formally transferred to NASA, is also mentioned.