...to this. An email from The Canadian Space Agency's Julie Semard:
This RFP focuses on autonomous rovers (i.e. for missions that do not include an astronaut) and is in line with the precursor mission proposed by NASA to prepare future human exploration missions (for example, NASA is considering an in-situ resource demonstration mission on the Moon in the coming years).
If you need more information the [researcher] responsible for the project could be available for interview next week.
Let me know.
In short, what the earlier tender and this message indicate is that, should NASA actually send people back to the moon, Canada wants to build their moon-buggy. A noble aim (far more ambitious than sticking robo-arms on someone else's moon-buggy). But perhaps too exclusively built on the shifting sands of U.S. science policy, which has been in retreat for a decade now at least.
Right... shifting sands of US science policy.
The US National Science Foundation continually saw its budget rise throughout the 2000's. In '02, George W Bush signed into law the National Science Foundation Authorization Act to double the NSF's budget over the course of five years.
NASA's budget continually declined during the Clinton administration before being stabilized between 2001 and 2008. In 2004, Bush sought $1 billion more in funding for NASA.
The National Institute of Health's 2002 budget was $23.4 billion and is now at $31.2 billion (not including Obama's new spending).
It sure sounds like science wallowed in agony during the Bush years. Apart from one avenue of stem cell research and certain environmental areas that in hindsight would have been wasted money, all the sciences in the US prospered significantly in recent years.
Though I wouldn't expect a Liberal to do research on this. After all, the mantra is "Blame Bush" right?
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