Editor's note: Robert Pearlman from CollectSpace.com wasted valuable crew time today when he asked the STS-121/Expedition 13 crew whether there were any Longhorns in space - since there are some Aggies up there. Pearlman did not ask anything remotely connected to the mission, its importance, the tasks the crew has performed, the challenges they faced, or even the classic "what's it like to be in space" question.
There is nothing wrong with interjecting a little humor into things, but Pearlman's question was just plain stupid and devoid of any relevance to space exploration. As he asked it, we were sitting at NASA HQ wondering if we'd even get a chance to ask a question at all since the event was running over its allotted time.
I will not question NASA's decision to give Robert Pearlman at CollectSpace media credentials since many questioned why I should have them. But I will question whether Robert Pearlman is at all serious about covering NASA or just pursuing his space collectibles hobby and whether that warrants the NASA resources he is being afforded during this mission.
I give PAO a lot of grief, but I really do take the opportunity I have been afforded to ask NASA personnel questions very seriously. Indeed, I take the opportunity to speak with crewmembers on-orbit even more so.
Robert Pearlman needs to take his opportunity to interface with NASA and its astronauts a little more seriously as he formulates his next question. Getting a chance to have the undivided attention of the combined crew of the space station and a space shuttle - even if only for a moment - is something 99.99% of the world will never get a chance to do. I take that opportunity seriously - as do the rest of the space press corps. So should Robert Pearlman.