NASA scientists have been working for long to unravel the mystery surrounding dark energy in the Universe. But the proposed budget cut by the Trump administration is expected to negatively impact the program, as it may cripple the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), the ambitious project operated by a blue-ribbon panel from the National Academy of Sciences. The telescope was expected to be made operational next decade, but chances are that it may never happen.
The decision to cut funds for WFIRST has not gone well with astronomers. A recent statement issued by the American Astronomical Society said that the proposed decision to scrap the dark energy mission will cripple the astronomical programs in the country.
"WFIRST, the successor to the 28-year-old Hubble Space Telescope and the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope, is a top-ranked large space-astronomy mission and is an essential component of a balanced space astrophysics portfolio. Cutting NASA's astrophysics budget and cancelling WFIRST would leave our nation without a large space telescope to succeed Hubble and Webb," said the American Astronomical Society in its statement.
Astronomers in the country argue that dark energy is a cosmological force which makes up to 68 percent of our Universe, and learning about it will help to gain deep knowledge regarding why the Universe is expanding.
Earlier, Trump administration has revealed that they have plans to send men to the moon once again. But now, it has become pretty clear that prioritizing a new space program which may turn popular among the general public is merely coming at the cost of the other serious programs.
"A handful of people within the bureaucracy have overturned decades of community-driven processes and tried to set the direction for space astronomy," said David Spergel, former chairman of the academy's Space Study Board about the proposed scrapping down of WFIRST mission, New York Times reports.
However, it is still unclear whether the Congress will approve the new amendments in its current form.