There are several signs o’doom for NASA bubbling up out there
GALEX is going into standby mode in preparation for shut down.
It is working fine, but past its design lifetime, as so many NASA satellites do nowadays, and there is no more money for mission operation and data analysis.
There is a rumour that Caltech hustled for some private money to extend MODA, but they may not be able to do it anyway, because of liability and ownership issues.
So it goes.
At the same time there is SenseOfImpendingDoom at NASA – lot of 2011-12 programs appear effectively suspended pending the 2012-13 budget, to the point where an entire funding cycle will be lost for some lines.
Turns out the White House has given NASA the heads-up and they had to tell ESA some, and ESA has no compunction about talking.
This is partly JWST needing to find pocket change, and partly, presumably, the general onset of austerity and all ’round cuts.
This is going to hurt.