Planet search postponed to fund Hubble rescue

I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about this – I have been looking forward to the TPF for years now. Then again, if they can save hubble…

But funding the Hubble mission would mean the indefinite postponement of two future missions to search for extrasolar planets – the Space Interferometry Mission, which had been scheduled for 2011, and the Terrestrial Planet Finder, which was set to launch in 2014. And he said the agency was considering delaying the next rover mission to the Red Planet, called the Mars Science Laboratory, from 2009 to 2011.

“We have to have priorities,” Griffin said, adding that reducing budgets across all programmes or eliminating funding in the middle of existing projects “is not an effective way to save money. I would look to delaying programmes that have not yet started.”