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Astronaut's St. Patrick's Day Celebration Goes Viral (Photo)

| by Sean Kelly
Green beer and pretzelsGreen beer and pretzels

A NASA astronaut's St. Patrick's Day celebration photo went viral for an amazing reason -- it was taken from space.

Shane Kimbrough, a NASA astronaut, tweeted a photo of Dublin, Ireland, taken from space as a celebratory post on St. Patrick's Day. The photo was taken by European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet in January and shows a zoomed-in view of Dublin illuminated.

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In 2015, astronaut Terry Verts had a similar way of celebrating the Irish holiday -- sharing two photos of the entire island from space.

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In other NASA news, President Donald Trump is coming under fire for his plan to cut a small amount of funding for the space administration and distribute it in a way that focuses less on monitoring the planet's vital functions in relation to climate change. Instead, the funds allocated for NASA -- which will be cut down from $19.3 billion to $19.1 in the 2018 budget -- aims its funding toward space exploration

"It seems to be more of the continuing assault on climate science, and that’s deeply concerning," Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California told the Los Angeles Times. 

"In terms of the planetary missions that JPL works on, Mars 2020 looks good, the Europa Clipper looks good. But I am concerned about the cancelation of the Europa landing mission, and I intend to work with my colleague John Culberson to make sure that we restore that."

The budget would not only shift focus away from NASA's work on environmental science, but would also eliminate a portion of the budget for coastal and marine management and education. It would also end missions that monitor carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

"I call this a ‘know-nothing’ trifecta: These are people who don’t know anything, they’re proud of not knowing anything, and they don’t want anybody else to know anything," said Harvard professor John Holdren, who was the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House under former President Barack Obama. 

"This is not only putting their own head in the sand, but trying to force everybody else’s head into the sand."

Holdren called the Trump administration's plan to cut education and monitoring from the budget "just nuts."

NASA's relationship with other countries in terms of sharing environmental data and other important information has been aided strongly by the State Department, whose budget was cut by the Trump administration by one-third.

"I’m not at all surprised, but I’m very disappointed that the administration chose to go through with the threat," Obama's NASA administrator, Charles Bolden, said. "And it’s not just the environment -- it’s their attack on education, it’s their attack on research and development, it’s their attack on everything that has allowed us to maintain our leadership in the world."

Sources: Space.com, Los Angeles Times / Photo credit: Pixabay, Shane Kimbrough/Twitter

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