The administrator of NASA named Jim Bridenstine had his very first congressional testimony recently in April. He addressed the issue of several problems of NASA. On 23rd of May, Jim appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, justice, and science subcommittee. He stated about seeking a balance between having priorities between science and exploration and he also addressed the development of specific missions which are said to be canceled by NASA. His statement was very clear and upfront about making tasks other than traveling to the moon and mars essential. He noted that missions of heliophysics, astrophysics, and earth science, as well as planetary science, are well kept in mind by NASA. Tasks on these are to be performed too.
The earth science mission of 2019 was canceled by NASA, and on getting asked by Senator Chris Van Hollen, Jim said that mainly the fate of Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory Pathfinder Instrument was reconsidered by NASA. Not only that, International Space Station and the Aerosol, Cloud, Plankton and ocean Ecosystem were also to be considered by NASA.
In the 2019 budget, the launch of Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 instrument was canceled, but Jim stated that this was to be launched the next year. The launch will be made to the ISS. Concerning this, he said that NASA is responsible for conducting comprehensive research on the topics of climate change and hence in understanding the carbon cycle. He is supposed to be of the opinion that the humans are behind the climate changing process like for example, global warming.
Jim Bridenstine also stated that NASA is working on building the James Webb Space Telescope. The cost is considered high in the year 2018 but is said to decrease in the year 2019. He is supposed to launch this telescope into space no matter what the cost amounts will be. Another mission of astrophysics is supposed to be the WFIRST which is the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope is also likely to be continued by NASA. This mission was requested in the 2018 budget and also was canceled at first. The cost of launching this telescope is to be estimated beforehand by NASA.
Jim Bridenstine faced a lot of criticism for having to close NASA’s STEM education which includes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. This is considered to be NASA’s Office of Education.