One thing you don’t want to do when you’ve got a deadline at work is to click over to the following site: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble.
The incredible images from the Hubble telescope in Earth’s orbit are engrossing and a source of pride, emblems of the know-how of Americans. And soon the Hubble will be falling from the sky at the end of its life.
What will take its place? It might be that mankind’s eyes will be closed.
A proposed James Webb Space Telescope is part of the budget-cutting being considered on Capitol Hill, even after billions of dollars have been spent on researching its components. “Big science” is an easy target on the Hill.
The Webb would be 100 times the power of the Hubble, providing an eye into the cosmos.
Not “a bridge to nowhere,” this. James Bullock, a professor at the University of California-Irvine, calls it “a bridge to the end of the universe itself.”
The word “muckraker” has passed into the language, from John Bunyan’s novel “A Pilgrim’s Progress.” But the modern usage is of a muckraking investigator who brings misdeeds to light.
In Bunyan’s original, the man with the muckrake is a pitiable creature who is focused on his earthly task instead of lifting his eyes to the wonders of God and faith. Capitol Hill is full of muckrakers these days. But not the right kind.