Science is reality. At a time when a large and increasing fraction of the U.S. population does not "believe in" science (i.e., objectively provable reality) - or, worse, has bought into the idea that science is just one choice on the reality menu - NASA has again given concrete reason to understand that science works, and that science is not an option, not a theory, not a menu item, but instead represents the finest efforts of human minds in understanding, and addressing, objective reality.
Those on Earth who currently think that science is a political football should take note: not only are you endangering your own reputation, you are endangering the welfare of your constituents, and today, of the planet itself.
Any person or party which mocks science should be considered for what he or it is: a threat to the welfare and future of us all. Under the influence of political propagandists, misled religious zealots, and truly dangerous television and radio empires (such as Fox (Not) News and Rush Limbaugh), too many people today have been led to believe that science is in some way an option to opinion.
Science is as optional as gravity. Ignorant delusion is the only real option.
It is time for the U.S. to catch back up to the world in this matter, and recognize the value of scientific study and theory, the use of scientific consensus in guiding public policy, and the wonders that we can achieve when we abandon self-aggrandizing political fantasy in favor of objective scientific knowledge.
It is time for all Earth inhabitants to recognize the value of science. In doing so, we will find common ground for agreeing on other important things.
Mark Anderson, quoted by David Brin