Republicans Block NASA’s Asteroid Plan

Via Mother Jones:

NASA wants to launch an unmanned spacecraft in 2018 that would capture a small asteroid — maybe 7 to 10 yards wide — haul it closer to Earth, then send astronauts up to examine it, in 2021 or beyond.

But the space agency has encountered a stubborn technical problem: Congressional Republicans…[T]he science committee in the Republican-controlled House voted to bar NASA from pursuing that faraway rock. In a straight party vote — 22 Republicans for, 17 Democrats against — the committee laid out a road map for NASA for the next three years that brushed aside the asteroid capture plan, the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s agenda for space exploration.

The Republicans claim they’d rather prioritize a manned mission to Mars, but the asteroid mission would actually aid in that endeavor. Doy.

Anyway, it turns out The Onion kind of predicted this story a while back.

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  • Kittens&Politics

    Just wait till Obama backs the plan to go to Mars.

  • Draxiar

    And so I ask the Republicans: “Why we can’t we do both?”
    Space exploration deserves more attention, respect, and money than it currently gets.

  • Vic78

    Why can’t the democrats beat these airheads?

  • muselet

    If you wonder how such an initiative could be voted down, here’s the membership of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

    –alopecia

    • Bubble Genius

      Then again, what really are Lamar Smith, Steve Stockman and Paul Broun fit for?

      • muselet

        Hat racks. Fenceposts. Javelin catchers. Scarecrows. Ballast. Footstools.

        –alopecia

        • Bubble Genius

          JAVELIN CATCHERS FTW

        • D_C_Wilson

          Medical school cadavers

  • js hooper

    Pres Obama should propose a plan that Congressional Republicans breathe air and eat food to survive.

    Or how about a bill suggesting that they avoid walking slowly in to on coming traffic on the freeway.

    • LeShan Jones

      reverse psychology time, the president should come out in favor of restricting abortions, vaginal ultra-sounds and become pro-second amendment (in the vein of the NRA).
      The republican’ts would reflexively do the opposite and the country would finally move forward,

  • Draxiar

    Y’know it occurred to me that they may have confused asteroid with hemorrhoid and thought that examining them was just another Obamacare initiative.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Republicans block it because they believe God will send an asteroid straight to Earth as part of His Judgement Day plans.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Did they actually appropriate funds for a Mars mission or is like Bush’s bullshit plan of just saying we’re going to Mars without actually providing any resources to get there?