When Congress Puts NASA on Hold, Planets Don’t Wait

Today's edition of the New York Times contains my very first op-ed for them, on how budgetary uncertainties harm the American space program.

The United States asks NASA to do an extraordinary amount with very little money. Explore Mars, document climate change, stop doomsday asteroids, find life on Europa — all for less than one-half of 1 percent of the federal budget. But budget uncertainties on Capitol Hill, including delays in federal appropriations legislation and temporary government shutdowns, measurably harm the American space program. Even the threat of a shutdown can have a far-reaching impact on scientific projects, often in unexpected ways.

Read the rest here. (Or go buy a copy.)

Thank you to Casey Dreier at the Planetary Society, who is infinitely patient and kind, and one of the smartest guys in the business.

UPDATE: Hello New York Times readers! You might also be interested in this piece I wrote for Vox earlier this year on the looming gap in outer planetary exploration.