The Atlantic recently ran a story of how a #NASA aerospace engineer who works at JPL named Tracy Van Houten has decided to give up working on the Mars 2020 rover in order to run for Congress. The reason she is abandoning rocket science for the seamier world of politics is that she is mad at Donald Trump. Considering the circumstances of the decision, one has to scratch one’s head and wonder why.

Van Houten’s odd decision may have been understandable if she were doing climate change studies in the Earth science area. That part of NASA is due for a chopping and, no doubt, a lot of scientists who work in that area will need other jobs.

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Politics would be just as good as any if nothing is available in academia.

But Van Houten is working in the area of planetary exploration, sending another car sized rover to Mars. What sort of ire against a politician would motivate anyone to give up that most interesting and exciting of jobs?

The situation is even more disturbing when one considers that the exploration side of NASA is about to get a lot more favorable attention thanks to Trump’s desire to make America great again. Van Houten may be mad at Trump for a lot of reasons that feminists are upset with him, but when it comes to her work, she ought to be more appreciative of the new president. If Trump’s plans for NASA come to fruition, a lot more work will be available for NASA to help explore the universe.

The new attitude contrasts with that of Trump’s predecessor who slashed funding for both human space flight and for planetary science.

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The only account at NASA that saw healthy increases in Obama budget requests was Earth science, largely because of climate change studies.

Van Houten can be forgiven for looking at some of the members of Congress, a rum lot with some exceptions, and wonder if she could do better. But, as a Democrat, if she were to win she would be in the minority and would be subject to the whims of people she clearly loathes. It would be better if she were to stay at NASA, where she can do some good, and push back the frontiers of knowledge. Politics will just lead to frustration and aggravation. #Exploration Of Space #Donald Trump