Monday, November 21, 2011

JWST is Saved!!

Science Warriors:

IT IS DONE! Congrats on a job well done! As you may have heard, the US House of Representatives have come to an agreement concerning the James Webb Space Telescope. And what did they agree on? A fully funded telescope! As it stands right now, JWST WILL FLY!! We did it!! (See this link & then this link here for details on how the vote went down and how much money JWST will be getting)

While it is true that next year or the year after, the JWST may yet again enter choppy waters, for now we celebrate a huge victory for science and space exploration. The past four months have been as exhilarating as they have been arduous. During that time, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Northrop Grumman, the AAS (American Astronomical Society), The Planetary Society, and many others have rallied behind the JWST. They deserve much of the credit for this victory.

Most important in this effort was you. Without your tweets, emails, phone calls, blog mentions, facebook & Google+ posts, reddit links, conversations with friends & family, and your enthusiasm to fight for this telescope, none of this would be possible. Thousands of people have signed petitions. Many engaged in conversations with their elected officials for the first time in their lives. Others still have created all kinds of media to help spread the word. ALL HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE. Now, the Hubble of the next generation will fly!

Special thanks go to the volunteers of saveJWST: Chris, Zack, Jon, Nick, Kyle, Blair, Victor, Nicki, Pietro, Christine, and our fearless organizer Raphael. Additional thanks go out to Kevin, to Alberto, to Laura, to David, the Spacetweep Society, Tashaverse, katrobinson, ageekmom and the army of NASATweetup folks over on Twitter, to Brad Goodspeed and Callum Sutherland, JPMajor,, and to many, many more who can't be named here but have contributed heroically. You have done amazing work!

For now, all is good, but like Batman watching over Gotham, we will be keeping an eye on JWST in the future. Do check back with us periodically for updates.

Long live the James Webb. 


Monday, November 7, 2011

The 3x10 Challenge

Attention Gallant saveWebbers:

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!

The details:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

US Senate Passes Bill with Full JWST Funding!

Greetings SaveWebbers!

Today we celebrate another victory for the James Webb Space Telescope. The US Senate announced that it passed the FY 2012 bill, which outlines much of the federal budget over the coming year. Inside that bill is a fully funded JWST! Previously, only the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Justice agreed to to fully fund the JWST. Now, the ENTIRE Senate has agreed to this funding!

However, there is yet another step. The US House of Representatives must pass their version of the FY 2012 bill. If you remember, the US House Committee on Commerce, Science, and Justice voted to zero-out funding for the JWST. Now the ENTIRE US House must vote on this version of the bill.

More info:

Remember, we are not finished yet. The US House must approve their version of the bill. After that, the US House and the US Senate must reconcile their differences.

Keep writing those letters, Science Warriors! We need them now more than ever.

Check out our Facebook page. And learn how you can help save this scope: Write for Flight!