The James Webb Space Telescope and Ares1 rocket should both be funded and completed, but both face the ax due to ridiculous accounting exaggerations and policy squabbles. Though the cost for both, in this age of austerity, is not insignificant at around $1.5bil combined, the wealth of science gained by the JWST and cheap access to Low Earth Orbit provided by Ares1 is worth it. There are many foolish expenditures across the Federal Gov that could be cut instead of these two important programs.
~~ Last year it was estimated the JWST would cost $500mil over the next two years and be ready to launch by 2015. This telescope has about 9times the resolution of Hubble and sees in infrared wavelengths, allowing it to peer through dust that blocks visible light. For 2012, little-O proposed spending $375mil/yr over 5yrs before launch. The subcommittee used this figure to claim it wouldn't launch until 2018 and after $1.5bil, but that was a lie derived from little-O trying to bait and switch funding under a marque program.
~~ The Ares1 rocket, designed to loft the Orion capsule and/or supplies to the Space Station and beyond, was nearly complete, already has its launch tower built, already flew a boiler plate test flight and finished development on the solid engine. Per flight cost, including Orion, was at $140mil - equal to what a SpaceX Dragon would cost - but with twice the payload. In comparison, the Russians charge over $100mil for two astronauts and minimal supplies while Orion and Dragon launch seven astronauts. Since Ares1 would compete with California's SpaceX and the commercial space agenda, as well as replace ULA's heavy lift rockets for LEO construction at 1/3 the price, a random +$1bil/flight figure was presented to try and ax the program.
Last edited by Boomhauer; 07-12-2011 at 05:42 AM..