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NASA workforce faces an uncertain future

first_imgIt also strongly advocated what many scientists have long asked for: stable and adequate funding for university scientists and for the college and graduate students who could be the next generation of NASA employees. “NASA needs to be particularly careful to nurture and sustain research … and to recognize that frequently or abruptly changing goals and funding priorities may adversely affect the university partners on which NASA relies for many services,” the report chided. Sudden cuts in funding have stung many scientists in recent years. At Caltech, astrophysicist Fiona Harrison’s NuSTAR mission for a space telescope to detect black holes was suddenly canceled last year, two weeks before the project’s final review. “You put so much of your own resources into getting selected,” she said then. “To be canceled like this, to be honest, it’s such a risky proposition to start with, I don’t think I’ll do it again.” PASADENA – Three years ago, President Bush proposed his grand new Vision for Space Exploration, which would replace the space shuttle, complete the International Space Station and send astronauts to the moon and Mars. But it is not certain that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has the workforce to achieve this ambitious plan. In a report released last week, the National Academies’ National Research Council predicted NASA will experience a shortage of the experienced workers and leadership it needs for the job unless the space agency takes immediate action. The council’s recommendations, which NASA had solicited, included hiring and retaining younger workers, collaborating with other agencies to strengthen their workforce and providing hands-on training for NASA employees. Now, much of Harrison’s work is funded by the Department of Homeland Security, though she does have one smaller NASA-funded research endeavor underway using weather balloons. The impact of NASA’s funding cutbacks to university research have longer-term impacts as well. “I think that a lot of students are discouraged about going into astrophysics,” Harrison said. “I think that’s a big problem.” Even those not yet affected by cutbacks, said Tom Tombrello, chairman of Caltech’s physics, math and astronomy department, could feel the pinch in a few years when big, well-funded projects such as the space telescopes GALEX and Spitzer would be over. “I would worry about what will happen when \ get their degree and they wonder `How can I continue to work in this field?,”‘ Tombrello said. “As far as research in space is concerned, NASA is the only game in town.” NASA-funded university research also gives young scientists and engineers the hands-on opportunities they needed to gain expertise, the “salient requirement” for a workforce capable of carrying out the Vision for Space Exploration, according to the National Resource Council’s report. With a focus on training and recruiting new hires, the report states, NASA could build a strengthened leadership base by 2012. Harrison, with the passage of time and NASA’s appointment of a scientist as its associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, has renewed hope the agency could strengthen its relationship with university researchers. She is now considering resubmitting the proposal for the NuSTAR mission. [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

January 11, 2020 0

Arsene Wenger has revealed his Plan B for Arsenal and it could lead to title glory

first_img 5 5 1. Arsene Wenger has a Plan B! To find out four more things we learned from Arsenal’s excellent win over Bayern Munich – Any admirer of football appreciates the flowing, attacking football Arsenal so often deliver in the Premier League. However, Arsene Wenger knew that playing ‘the Arsenal way’ and clinching the points against Bayern Munich would be a task near on impossible. Instead we were treated to something that is very rarely seen, as Arsenal sat back, soaked up the pressure, and looked to play on the counter – and they did so effectively. Yes, their two goals were controversial, but they were far from undeserved. At 65 years old, Wenger expressed signs that he is willing to adapt his philosophy of playing the beautiful way, offering an alternative – and successful – tactic to seal the three points. Perhaps he took a tip from fierce foe Jose Mourinho’s park the bus method. Either way, who cares; it worked. And it should leave the Gunners’ Premier League rivals fearful that Wenger’s pragmatism could extend to the big games in England’s top flight. 5 5. Arsene Wenger must continue to maintain consistency in his team selection – Last season, Chelsea won the title with a line up that was easy to predict each week. And it was such consistency that ultimately led the Blues to their first Premier League trophy in five years. Arsenal have been offering similar consistency – bar the mistake in playing David Ospina ahead of Petr Cech in the Champions League defeat to Olympiakos. It’s such stability in the side that will be crucial if the Gunners are to challenge Manchester City and Manchester United for top spot. Arsene Wenger’s big issue will now be deciding who can come in for the injured Aaron Ramsey. Arsenal sent two goals past a shell-shocked FC Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night, to seal their first victory of the Champions League group stage this season and keep their slim hopes of progression to the last 16 alive.From Arsene Wenger’s plan B to another super-substitute appearance from Olivier Giroud, there were plenty of talking points from the thrilling clash. Take a look at five things that talkSPORT learned from the Gunners’ victory over the Bundesliga giants. 5 2. Aaron Ramsey reopened Arsenal’s injury wound – Despite Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere being absent through injury, the performances of the fit and healthy has helped to divert attention away from those in the Gunners’ medical room. However, frustration in that department has now returned. Aaron Ramsey hobbled off early in the second-half gripping a pulled hamstring. At this stage of the campaign, players should not be suffering such an avoidable injury. The Welshman is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines and this has only reinvigorated supporters’ irritation. Arsenal’s injury record is abysmal and the explanation could be that something – whether in training, their diet, their warm-down or their cool-down – is playing a significant role behind the scenes. 4. Hector Bellerin confirmed his status on the European stage – Facing the formidable Bayern Munich is a task that many – young or old – would find daunting. Not 20-year-old Hector Bellerin. The right back not only coped with the pressure of the in-form Douglas Costa on the wing, but showed intelligence in knowing when to attack. His decision to burst forward and intercept a weak pass in the opponent’s half could have been viewed as a risk – of which many may not have taken – but it was this move that illustrated the level of class that he is swiftly reaching. Arsenal have the best of both in Bellerin – a player with enviable talent and the raw enthusiasm that comes with youth. He is almost making a mockery of the need for experience and is already closing in on that ‘world-class’ bracket. 3. Olivier Giroud is THE super-sub – Sadly for the Frenchman, he looks set for a bench-warming role this season, despite his consistent goal scoring form. His substitute appearances have suggested that, in the nicest way possible, on the bench is exactly where he should be. In the modern game, substitutes are arguably just as important as those starting, and Giroud continues to epitomise why. Of course, no footballer – at any level – wants the job of being a super-sub; however, someone has to do it, and that someone for Arsenal has become Giroud. In Theo Walcott and Giroud, Arsene Wenger has two very different strikers, the former focused on pace, the latter on strength and positioning, and the French manager is utilising them expertly. Not only that, but it seems that Giroud is at his best when he is offered no guarantees. 5last_img read more


December 30, 2019 0