NASA went on an unusual tweet-binge praising planetary science today, saying that the struggling division "thrives" and highlighting various missions mainly developed in better times. NASA made five tweets in a row about planetary science over the course of two hours.
Maybe NASA feels bad for its Planetary Science Division after the release of the 2014 Budget proposal? The budget doubles down on cuts to Planetary Science, crippling the future of the program. The proposed amount, $1,217.5 million, is about $200 million less than Congress approved the previous year.
Even though the Planetary Society doesn't have anywhere near the audience of 3 1/2 million followers enjoyed by NASA's Twitter account, I feel I should give some context to these (somewhat strange) tweets today:
The 2014 Budget provides $1,217 million for Planetary Science to explore the planetary bodies of our solar system! go.nasa.gov/10Txqxw
The Mars 2020 rover depends almost entirely on funding materializing years from now, there is very little currently available. NASA has not yet confirmed if it will collect samples of Martian rocks to return to the Earth, the stated goal of the scientific community for the next major mission to Mars.
With MESSENGER having imaged 100% of Mercury, NASA's planetary scientists are studying more than 88,000 photos! go.nasa.gov/10Txqxw