“Ted Cruz Is Really Excited About Pluto. So Why Does He Want to Cripple NASA?”

“Cruz has good reason to be watching the fly-by closely: He’s in charge of the Senate’s subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, which oversees NASA. His chairmanship has centered on a campaign to correct what he sees as an imbalance in NASA’s activity: too much focus on Earth science, and not enough traveling to other planets. The Pluto mission is a perfect example of what he wants to see more of…
Cruz’s attitude belies a deep misunderstanding of how NASA uses basic science — the very types of research that enabled the New Horizons spacecraft to reach Pluto in the first place — says Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“It doesn’t make sense to pick out one achievement as if it isn’t built on all this other basic research — everything from material science, to Earth science, to developing new instruments,” he said. “It’s not as if you have a standalone program for space that doesn’t depend on a huge number of other fields.”"

This is great and concise on the relationship between basic science and the flashy, accessible outcomes like pictures of Pluto.

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