Keith's note: This bizarre comment (below) by Karen Cramer Shea was posted on the National Space Society blog for a while - it has since been taken down. (Cached version at Google). Karen has posted some odd things before but this makes me wonder if there is any adult supervision in place at the NSS since she is clearly on the train to Crazy Town. "May have bent the rules too far this time", Karen? According to the charges filed against Nozette, he agreed to betray his country's military secrets for money. There's a word for that and it is not "hero", Karen. The word is "traitor".
What leaves me baffled is how an otherwise wonderful organization like the National Space Society can ever expect to affect the general population's view about space exploration when goofy, insensitive, and ill-advised rhetoric like this appears on their official blog.
"Fall of a Tragic Hero
Stewart Nozette has been arrested for Spying. Stu Nozette who was largely responsible for the Clementine Lunar mission which reawaken interest in the Moon. Without whom there would not have been a Lunar Prospector, a New Vision for Space Exploration, or LCROSS or any knowledge of the water on the Moon because no one would have cared or thought we could afford it. This is a tragedy in its most classic sense. A Tragic Hero is who caused his own downfall with the very things which made him great.
Stu made Clementine possible by streching and bending the rules. He convinced The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization to fund the Deep Space Program Science Experiment (DSPSE) (better known as Clementine) to test military components for $80 million. Stu then spent all of the money in a matter of weeks so that it would not make any sense to cancel the project. Stu made it work and work spectacularly on a shoe string budget.
Stu was also not afraid to ruffle feathers. I remember being in the front row of the first Clementine presentation at NASA Johnson Space Center at the Lunar Planetary Science Conference in a room with hundreds of people, where they were showing live feed from the Moon, the first American lunar exploration since Apollo. Stu Nozette gleefully explained how NASA had nothing to do with this project. I could just feel the anger in the room when he said that.
Stu made himself a target of scrutiny by ruffling a lot of feathers and may have bent the rules too far this time. That which made Stu Nozette a hero, to all of us who long to see lunar development, may have been his downfall. It is so incredibly sad, it brings tears to my eyes. How I wish this was all some cruel joke. But this is reality, and we are watching the fall of a great man because of, not in spite of that which made he great. We are watching a real tragedy, the fall of a lunar hero.
Karen Cramer Shea"