28 September 2005

A Momentary Lapse Of Reason?

As you may have heard, NASA Administrator Michael "no relation to Peter" Griffin said that the space shuttle "was not the right path." When I read this, I thought it was a sign of sanity at NASA. Was it?

Sadly, No! Though Griffin says a few things that needed to be acknowledged by someone at NASA, such as the wastefulness of the ISS and the uselessness of its low orbit, he clearly couches this apparent criticism in terms to promote Bush's poison pill Mars plan. How else does one read this?
"It is now commonly accepted that was not the right path," Griffin said. "We are now trying to change the path while doing as little damage as we can."
Only now is the nation's space program getting back on track, Griffin said. He announced last week that NASA aims to send astronauts back to the moon in 2018 in a spacecraft that would look like the Apollo capsule.
I will admit that it's better for the cuts to come from the $500-million-per-launch space shuttle and the tin can floating around only a couple hundred miles above us than from actual science and exploration, but this is a sales pitch, NASA's version of "NEW! IMPROVED!"

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