Photo by Angelika Warmuth/AFP/GettyImages.
Baking might not be rocket science, but this weekend it will serve as something of a substitute for a group of scientists, professors and students hoping to keep NASA's dream of planetary exploration alive.
The Southwest Research Institute and other like-minded groups are planning a string of bake sales (and car washes) on Saturday in a rather endearing PR stunt aimed at protesting the Obama administration's proposed 2013 NASA budget cuts, which the spacy agency says will shrink its planetary science division by 20 percent.
The aptly-named National Planetary Exploration Car Wash and Bake Sale Day will include nearly 20 events spread out across the nation, many of which will occur on or near universities. (One of the events, in Houston, promises/warns: "Star Wars troopers will be there to keep order.")
While any cash raised by the events will presumably be donated to NASA and/or related science programs, the group is making no secret that their real goal is to stir up some media attention for the space agency's financial plight.
"This is being done to attract media attention and to help focus Congress on repairing the damage of the deep cuts planned to NASA's planetary science program," Alan Stern, the institute's associate vice president for R&D, told Space.com. "It's important these cuts be repaired to maintain U.S. leadership in this area of science, to prevent mission cuts, and to prevent student and research job losses."
For more on where you can get men and women with multiple advanced degrees to wash your car on Saturday, head on over to the group's Facebook page.