History: So far, subcommittees have agreed to separate amounts of funding for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). In July 2011, the House Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Subcommittee voted strip all funding from the JWST, and in September 2011, the Senate CJS Subcommittee voted to fully fund the JWST to the tune of $530 million. Since that time, the full US Senate has had their say, affirming the Senate CJS subcommittee's decision.
Update: So the telescope is funded now, right? Not quite. The endgame is in sight, but the fight for flight is not over. Space News has recently reported that the House and Senate CJS subcommittees plan to come to an agreement on funding for the JWST by November 18! Mark the date, because that gives us only ten days to save the JWST.
Action Alert: We are at a critical juncture here, Science Warriors. If the result of the negotiations is a reduction in JWST funding, the cost of the telescope will increase and the schedule will be delayed, putting it at risk of cancellation in the future. When you write your congressional representatives we need you to advocate for full funding: $530 million. The time to act is now. With this said, we're thrilled to announce the 3x10 Challenge!
- We encourage saveJWST supporters to get three (3) people to contact a congressional representative from a key district within the next ten (10) days OR Write to three (3) different congressional representatives within that period.
- Once you've got your three (3), swing by the saveJWST Facebook Page on November 17 (the day before the big House-Senate decision) and tell us about it using a Facebook poll that we'll post. Polling will close at 8 p.m. EST, November 17, 2011.
- We will randomly select a winner from the pool of entries and announce that winner the next morning. The prize? A 1-Year Subscription to Sky & Telescope Magazine, Astronomy Magazine, or Astronomy Now Magazine. (#SweetSpaceSwag)
If you are reading this, you clearly have an interest in science. You want humanity to explore and discover, to understand its place in the cosmos. You feel that it is our destiny, and that we NEED to do science in order to survive in a dangerous Universe. You also support science because it is THE basis of any industrialized nation. It is the key infrastructure on which modern society depends. So, don't let the James Webb Space Telescope become another Superconducting Super Collider. You can help the USA refocus its science priorities in a positive, productive direction.
- You can do something. Contact your congressional representatives in the US House of Representatives. [Here is a complete list of those representatives - don't worry if you are not in their district - write anyway]. If you do not tell them how you feel, how are they going to know?
- Gather your three (3). Get three (3) people to to contact the US House of Representatives or contact three (3) congressional representatives within the next ten (10) days (and enter to win a 1-Year subscription to Sky and Telescope Magazine, Astronomy Magazine, or Astronomy Now Magazine).
- Spread the Word. Post this link on Facebook, Google+, Diaspora, Linkedin, Digg, Reddit, and anywhere you have a voice. Shoot a message to anyone who you think might listen.
- Take the fight to Twitter. Use the hashtags #saveJWST #write4flight and #3x10. If you tweet once day for these last few days, the world WILL hear you (psst! - you can tweet your representatives, too)
Now is the time to take up our proverbial arms and fight for American Science. Now is the time to tell our representatives that they CANNOT cancel our future in favor of shortsighted and temporary concerns. Now is the time to act. Just think of how amazing it is going to feel when those first amazing caches of data start coming back to Earth, knowing that you did something, that you convinced others to help, that you directly contributed to a positive human future. Science, Warriors: Let's save this telescope!