Sunday, August 7, 2011

saveJWST Resource & News Update

Greetings Science Warriors,
Let us not forget that the James Webb Space Telescope is still in trouble.

Quick review of new information concerning the fight to save the JWST:

  • We still do not know the date of the next vote in the House of Representatives

  • All of the primary mirrors have been polished (most difficult task in building JWST)

  • NASA has completed coating 13 of 18 primary mirror segments and will complete the rest by early next year (this is a post-polishing requirement)

  • 3,603 petition signatures, 3,670 Facebook Likes, and thousands of reTweets

Technician working in the process of mirror polishing
Several members of Congress advocate for the JWST. Among those representatives are Congressman Steny Hoyer, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, and Representative Adam Schiff. Contacting you representatives and letting them know you want the JWST to fly is THE BEST idea. However, if you live in any of the districts of the above mentioned politicians and since they are already on your side, you should contact them and ask them how you can help.

Timeline of major telescope instrument missions. As you can see many are scheduled to end quite soon

In the last few weeks, several organizations and personalities have publicly endorsed the JWST. Among the most notable are:
  • Northrop Grumman, the primary contractor on JWST, has created an amazing webpage that cuts right to the chase about why the telescope is important for science and for America's leadership in the world. Most importantly, the webpage features a built in mechanism for contacting your representatives about JWST.

  • has written an article describing what JWST has ALREADY done for humanity and for science, now, before it has even launched. This article also mentions the public support that is growing against the possible cancellation of JWST.

  • The Washington Post featured a Sunday editorial discussing why it would be a waste of money TO CUT the JWST. The author argues that since it is nearly complete, it would greatly benefit the public to finish the telescope and not waste what has already been spent in construction.

  • Dr. Lawrence Krauss writes an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal advocating for the JWST (must be a WSJ subscriber to access full article online)

  • Among the blogs and tumblrs of the world, people are writing and creating and advocating for JWST, including this example video on youtube form user jnosanov.

When spreading the word, be sure to cite these articles and comments in your discussions. As the fight to save this telescope progresses, more media outets and experts of various colors will step forward to cover/discuss the merits of JWST.

Polished mirrors in all their glory
The James Webb Space Telescope seems to be caught up in a larger battle over the role of the United States Federal Government. Regardless of how you see that role, there is still room for science to improve all of our lives, to shed light on the most important questions in human existence, and to help keep America at the forefront of scientific research and innovation. The James Webb Space Telescope represents all that is good, innovative, bold, and smart in American Science.

There is still much to do, people. And there will be more to come in the story of the James Webb Space Telescope. Stay tuned to this blog, to the Facebook page, and the saveJWST twitter account for the latest news regarding the fight to save the James Webb Space Telescope. And remember the 4 steps to save the JWST:
a) Sign the Petition
b) Like the Facebook Page
d) Spread the Word

Technicians in Huntsville examine one of JWST's mirrors


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