Stoney science teacher denied NASA grants because of government shutdown

This is it, the apocalypse. For scientific research, that is.

The Government shutdown cancels the grant cycle for the National Science Foundation, ending scientific projects. This includes NASA Glenn Research Center, where science teacher Eric Thuma was the only Michigander who worked on a jet engine combustor project over the summer.

“Because it was designed at a NASA facility, any U.S. company can use it for free,” Thuma said. “Since we’re missing this grant cycle we’re missing the next generation of safer, less polluting engines.”

If the National Science Foundation starts up again and is able to deliver the grants, it still won’t matter to the production of the jet engine combustor. According to Thuma, NASA Glenn Research Center had scheduled time to use the combustion chamber, a wind tunnel that goes up to 1200 degrees to be the equivalent to the inside of a jet engine. They’ll miss their testing turn if they don’t get their testing grant.

“Even if the shutdown only lasts a week, then you end up pushing everything back months. There is so much chaos in closing everything down and reopening it,” Thuma said. “Anything time dependent is getting delayed.”

The Government shutdown, Thuma’s project shutdown, NASA Glenn Research Center shutdown—it doesn’t end there. All of the NASA research centers shutdown. All scientific projects depending on National Science grants shutdown.

“Not only is [the Government shutdown] setting scientific research back one to two years,” Thuma said. “But there are people who use the grants to pay graduate assistants and lab techs, and now those people are just out of work.”

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