The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is the NASA’s creation that was expected to study the dark energy that’s expanding the Univers and to search for far-away planets. According to the NASA, studying dark energy is a must because it may reveal important facts about the Universe and may also help scientists predicts Universe’s future. Unfortunately, WFIRST may be shut down due to the Trump administration’s budget allocations for NASA.
The project was born in 2010 at the National Academy of Sciences which was prioritized such missions, depicting their importance. NASA planned to launch the WFIRST telescope somewhen around 2025 but they’d need $3.2 billion for this mission.
Unluckily for NASA, Donald Trump’s plans for the American space agency are different
Donald Trump has approved a budget of approximately $20 billion but not for observation missions.
Trump asked NASA officials to focus on space exploration missions and allocated the aforementioned budget for NASA to research and build a future mission to the Moon and another mission to the Mars.
Trump, similar to JFK, focuses on human space exploration instead of observation missions which characterized NASA in the last decades.
WFIRST could be canceled
As the new budget allocation is not targeting observation missions, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) could be canceled, eventually because NASA doesn’t have enough money to focus on both space exploration and space observation missions.
However, NASA has bought a share of the Euclid mission.The EU’s dark matter study mission, Euclid, is set to launch during 2021. But Euclid is not as good as NASA’s WFIRST would be.
“While one never wants to hear that someone important has recommended cancellation of your favorite project, I believe that like last year, Congress will be doing the budget-writing. I hope and believe that Congress will be wiser,” said Michael Turner, from the University of Chicago.
WFIRST could be canceled but now the Congress will decide its fate. NASA hopes the necessary budget for the WFIRST mission will be approved by the US Congress.