Why Now Is Precisely the Wrong Time for Congress to Cut Back NASA

Award-Winning Physicist Believes Science, the Spirit of Discovery, and Society Will Suffer With NASA Budget Slashes

ALBUQUERQUE, NM--(Marketwire - Aug 23, 2011) - As politicians take the knife to NASA's budget with the sun setting on the decades old Space Shuttle Program that has been the cornerstone of America's manned space program, one scientist is less concerned about the loss of the jobs, the space missions or even the publicity. Instead, he's worried about the one commodity upon which the nation has routinely counted upon from NASA -- The Spirit of Discovery which has improved the lives of people across our nation.

"As our nation struggles to get out of a prolonged economic downturn that has cost American families dearly, it's important for us to remember the importance of discovery as the fuel that propels our economy," said Scott M. Tyson, author of "The Unobservable Universe: A Paradox-Free Framework for Understanding the Universe" (Galaxia Way, 2011; www.theunobservableuniverse.com). "While politicians debate the continued funding of NASA during the new lull in manned space missions, they need to remember that discovery was, and remains, the most important product generated by the space agency."

Tyson's argument is that there is a link between scientific discovery and the prosperity of America, and that cutting back on NASA is tantamount to shooting ourselves in the foot and congratulating ourselves on our good aim.

"Discovery fuels innovation, and innovation is where American business lives and thrives," he said. "Apple, Intel, Microsoft, HP, and GM are just a few of the companies whose products and sales are directly linked to innovations and advancements in technology, engineering and manufacturing. When we turn a cold shoulder to science, we are essentially handing our economic competitiveness on a silver platter to the other nations with whom we compete in today's increasingly competitive global markets. We're placing our economy in further harm's way, and it may take years for that realization to become clear. Innovation and discovery ensure America's continuing greatness and strength, and we are doing a disservice to every American by turning our backs on one of the country's most prolific sources of both those commodities."

About Scott M. Tyson

Award-winning physicist, engineer, scientist and researcher, Scott M. Tyson's career has included innovative research and development at IBM's VLSI Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and Westinghouse's Advanced Technology Laboratory.

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