Keith Cowing: December 2011 Archives

Happy Holidays From Antarctica

"Astrobiologist Dale Andersen from the SETI Institute is currently on his way back to the U.s. via a stop over in Capetown, South Africa. Dale and his team spent a month or so at Lake Untersee in Antarctica. This photo was taken shortly before Christmas. Dale is shown holding a patch for the Challenger Center for Space Science Education."

Tyson criticizes common views on space exploration, Daily Princetonian

"American participation in the space race represented the beginning of the "militarization of space," Tyson said. Likening this struggle for celestial turf to the games that schoolchildren play in sandboxes, he further criticized modern reverence for the Apollo program because it leads to the glorification of antiquated technology rather than to the acknowledgement of improvements made since then.

This appreciation for outdated technology has led to a modern cultural apathy for space exploration, Tyson explained. NASA's budget has remained about the same for the duration of its existence while its operations have become less efficient over time -- but this diminished performance hasn't perturbed post-Kennedy administrations, Tyson said, because "NASA has never been about science" and was originally created in response to geopolitical pressures."

Keith's note: Gee Neil, Apollo stuff may well be antiquated but recent experience shows that it is harder for NASA to do the same thing now than it was when the agency did it half a century ago. Perhaps some of that antiquated hardware is worth a second look and can still teach us a few lessons today. As for the quote wherein you seem to be saying "NASA has never been about science" that is simply false. Explain the planetary missions, space and earth science missions - especially the telescopes you are so fond of. These things are not there for "science"? I am baffled.



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