Smart People Can Say Dumb Things

The Device NASA Is Leaving Behind, Washington Post

"Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, a theoretical physicist at the University of Texas, is one of many researchers frustrated by the priorities NASA has set, and he has publicly discussed the AMS issue as a prime example of what he thinks has gone wrong. If the instrument were ferried to the station, he said, its study of cosmic rays "would be the only significant science ever done on the space station."

Editor's note: This just goes to show you that really smart people can also be ignorant - and wrong.

It is these predictions of things yet to come which are really annoying. Unless, of course, Weinberg has also invented a time machine which allows him to see what will be done on the yet-to-be-completed ISS. If so, I am certain NSF would love to have him sit on their peer review panels and rate the future results of all proposed projects.

That said, it is sad that Mike Griffin's priorities do not include the science the ISS is supposed to have been built for in the first place. Rather, he just wants to be done with it.

Reader note: "I would find the quandary (and Congressional, and Nobel-laureate, whining) over the AMS's potentially being grounded amusingif it wasn't so tragic. Where are all those folks who criticizedno, vilifiedSean O'Keefe for his decision to NOT fly a Hubble repair mission? If that well-considered assessment of safety versus science had been held to (recall, the decision was made in light of comparably capable ground-based assets that will be available until the Webb ST gets delivered) instead of being dumped (under extreme Congressional pressure, mind you), a slot would exist on the 2010-constrained shuttle manifest to launch the AMS to the ISS. Too bad that the powers that be have so cleverly painted international science into a corner."

NASA refuses $1.5B space experiment, riles Sen. Nelson, others, Orlando Sentinel

"The whole purpose of having an international space station . . . is to be able to do these kinds of extraordinary science experiments, such as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer," Nelson said. "It is almost like cutting off our nose to spite our face."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on December 1, 2007 9:25 PM.

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