Sometimes correlation is causation:
“…Jon Morse, director of the Science Mission Directorate’s Astrophysics Division and Laurie’s husband, also will be leaving government to join RPI as the associate vice president for research.” (spacref.com)
That leaves Astrophysics without a director, as the 2012 appropriations are coming up.
This would not be a fun time to step into the position, with the threat of massive cuts looming.
JWST is, of course, at risk of being eliminated completely, but either way is no longer within the Astrophysics Division, and that money ain’t coming back.
Oh, and while I have your attention – anyone have insight into why only some of the 2011 GSRPs have been announced – the li’l ones are in, up to JPL, but not GSFC, Ames or HQ?
What gives? Waiting on JWST decision for prioritization?