Last year, in the grand tradition of families around the globe, NASA was given two spy satellite hand-me-downs from the National Reconnaissance Office. Never launched into orbit, these satellites' Hubble-rivaling optics had been peering into nothing but the dark recesses of their upstate New York storage facility. In the year since NRO offered them up, the astrophysics community has considered the telescopes' potential uses, a query led by NASA space science chief (and MSI podcast guest) John Grunsfeld.
This week, a proposal was put forth publicly to use them for the $1.5 billion Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (Wfirst) project to explore the nature of dark energy. By repurposing one or both satellites instead of building a new one, NASA could save an estimated 250 million dollars-and a fair amount of time-on the Wfirst project.
Despite the massive windfall this provides to NASA, it does bring up a question of priorities. Should we be investing such incredible technology in global surveillance or scientific advancements? Sound off in the comments below!
Sorry, comments are not allowed for this post.
- Art and Culture (3)
- Attitude and Behavior (9)
- Chemistry (9)
- Computer and Digital Technology (7)
- Earth Science (6)
- Education and Policy (4)
- Energy (5)
- Engineering (8)
- Environment and Sustainability (9)
- Health and Medicine (17)
- Manufacturing and Industry (7)
- Math (2)
- Museums (2)
- Physics (8)
- Space and Astronomy (16)
- Technology (18)
- Transportation (3)
- Happening Now
Explore nine decades of The Walt Disney Company's history and artifacts.
Seventy years ago, a historic landing changed the world.
- Coming Soon
Discover the mathematical patterns that abound in the natural world.
Write the team behind the blog with your questions or comments.