Exolife Hangout: Happy Pi Day!

This week we'll talk about Pi Day, Stephen Hawking's death, the GAO report on the JWST mission and much, much more.

Published on 14th Mar, 2018

We're trying something new this time. We want to increase our viewer engagement and to do that, we want to try a slightly different format that hopefully you'll find more entertaining. Also, the PLANETS foundation will give away an Exocube as a prize for the best comments or question during the live chat (selected by a scientific panel of four). What are you doing for Pi day? Every March 14th, the planet nerds out and celebrates it with a lot of different activities. Me? I'm mostly excited about the release of the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model b (link below) but that's just me. What does Pi mean to you? How useful is it as a constant? Leave some comments below and let us know! There has been some news lately about possible delays and cost overruns for the JWST mission. Personally, I don't care how much JWST ends up costing. It is currently slated to run about $8.5 billion, but again, I don't care if it costs $9 billion, or $10 billion. The amount of money spent on basic science research (like JWST) is miniscule compared to other things the United States spends money on (e.g., $650 billion each year on defense) an amount which has just been increased this year. Consider for a moment that the entire budget given NASA is close to $19 billion each year. Consider also that one F35 Fighter plane costs $95 billion. For one plane. One. Uno. We could completely fund NASA for five years (!) for the cost on one fighter jet that the military says it doesn't really need. So nine billion dollars for one space telescope? Nope. Don't care. Don't talk to me about how much it costs when no one seems bothered spending $95 billion on a plane no one wants. Military industrial complex indeed. And don't whine, 'Well if they stopped spending money on JWST then they could afford other projects that are better and cheaper." Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. If the funding for JWST suddenly went away, $8.5 billion dollars doesn't just suddenly appear in NASA's budget to be spent on other projects. It goes away, leaving not only NO JWST but nothing else to replace it. Want to learn more about this discussion? Watch and join in on our discord chat which is open 24/7 or leave a comment below: Want a TESS Mission Tee like Tony? Get one here: https://teespring.com/tess-mission-tees#pid=2&cid=573&sid=front Raspberry Pi 3 Model b https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-3-model-b/ JWST update http://spacenews.com/gao-warns-jwst-could-face-more-delays-and-cost-overruns/