Lib Dem manifesto out

The third and final of the main party manifestos is out. The pledges with relation to science of the party are pointed out in #SciVote’s blog here. Aside from nuances in language, the party pretty much gives the same pledges as the others – budget set for some years at some level not specified. They go further on libel reform by giving an indication of what they’d like to see. The Times’ review of the document’s commitment to science is here.

The contrast between the public appreciation for science, the passion of the #SciVote campaigners and the paucity of the three manifestos is mentioned in this blog by the e-astronomer. But the real disparity is between events here and events in the USA where it appears President Obama is partially backtracking on the cancelling of Constellation, potentially extending the shuttle program and resurrecting the capsule and heavy lifter parts of Constellation. What would make him do such a thing? Possibly a letter signed by, among others, Neil Armstrong, here replicated in the Times. Armstrong is not known for being particularly vocal and shuns the limelight, which is why his sudden foray into politics after 41 years is all the more striking.

All this coming amid the fortieth anniversary of what some call NASA’s finest hour, Apollo 13, when three men were rescued from the jaws of space. There’s a slideshow on Discovery.

UPDATE: The Times seems to be taking the shifts of American space policy rather personally. As well as the articles mentioned, they had a leader telling the USA off on the 14th. On the 15th they have a comment piece and an article on Armstrong’s letter. I hate to think what’ll happen when the actual policy is announced…

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