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NASA Astronaut Andy Thomas is Still Bashing China On The Job

By Keith Cowing
October 13, 2011
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Keith’s 14 Oct note: It would seem that NASA Astronaut Andy Thomas is rather comfortable with his China-bashing Powerpoint slide and that NASA JSC openly condones his use of it in official presentations he makes representing the agency. Check out this link – it points to the same presentation (Thomas_10-12-11.pptx) he gave a month ago – this time revised for use on 12 October 2011 on a NASA Future In Space Operations (FISO) telecon with that very same slide with Taikonauts trampling a U.S. flag on the Moon. Additional links (and audio) here.
Keith’s 16 Oct note: He uses the same flag stomping picture with a slightly different caption i.e. “We must make sure this is not the metaphor of our future” vs “We must make this event inconsequential”. In the audio file Thomas refers to this as the same picture he used in the earlier presentation – one that got “leaked to NASA Watch”.
Bolden’s rational comments are in stark contrast to the picture that astronaut Andy Thomas included in an official NASA presentation – one that showed Chinese astronauts trampling on a U.S. flag on the lunar surface. Bolden speaks of Chinese successes in space as motivations for us whereas Thomas uses overt, provocative images wherein China desecrates our flag as his motivation.
Top NASA official ‘rooting for’ China’s success in space exploration, Daily Caller (with audio)
“We haven’t talked about the Chinese,” Bolden said. “We can’t work with the Chinese right now. But I’m rooting for them. They’re probably going to put a spacecraft called Shenzhou into orbit here, hopefully by the end of the year. It’s going to be the first capsule of their space station. And the reason they are doing that is that we are not allowing them to be partners right now. So they’re going alone. They need to be successful to drive us.”
NASA Exploration Ideas – With Added China Bashing (Update), earlier post
Keith’s 16 Sep note: This presentation “Towards Deep Space Exploration: Small Steps versus One Giant Leap” (download) was presented by astronaut Andrew Thomas on 6 September 2011. There is one problem I have with this document – and it has to do with one specific graphic (page 28 – larger view). Had the author noted that China’s plans for the Moon should not spur us to do things out of fear or paranoia or something like that, I’d agree. But using an image that shows a Taikonaut on the lunar surface, planting the flag of the PRC while trampling an American flag is troubling. Are there really people inside NASA who think like this – enough that they go out of their way to create and use a provocative image like this? Alas, China-hater Rep. Frank Wolf will just love this chart.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.