Thursday, April 14, 2005

Mike the Knife

"Just call me Mike", says the smiling new leader of NASA.

NASA’s new administrator, Mike Griffin, told the U.S. space agency’s workforce Thursday afternoon that carrying out President Bush’s space exploration vision will require tough choices.

Tough cookies, Hubble, eh?

 NASA field centers in California, Ohio, and Virginia are planning to shed a few thousand jobs in response to declining aeronautics spending. Griffin offered no false assurances that those jobs would be saved.

"I don’t see a way to avoid some of the dislocation at present," he said. "We do live in a world of limited resources and we do have to set priorities"

First, during the long years we had the Space Shuttle, a new system should have been introduced but so far, it has not even appeared on the horizon so now we will start working on this only...the President, on seemingly a whim, wants to go to Mars. One seldom hears this in public. Even after the surprise announcement way back before the oil invasion, no one is really interested or talking about Mars much at all. Least of all, the President who whimmed this up in the first place.

This lack of interest will rapidly become profound if oil climbs over $60 a barrel this next year. I, personally, think this whole scheme is simply a way for cuttting NASA down to near nothing. The Christians supporting Bush hate modern astronomy and geology and for that matter, biology. So they are happy to see this stuff eliminated.

Another article about mining the moon for water talks about how, despite the fact that the moon is mostly utterly dry, we could use the little water left there to power flight to Mars. Several problems with this scheme jump to mind. One is, is this a sane use for this one time useable resource? Secondly, it is so limited, it would seem to be a one time use which means, the infrastructure and methods can't be used twice. Third, if the scheme means using water on Mars to fly, too, this willl raid the limited supplies there. So are we going to chew our way through our celestial neighbors? And chew up the earth, too?

Something to think about. Mining Mars and the moon can be acceptable but only if there is some greater goal in mind aside from simply traveling about, doing this just to do it. Namely, one needs a goal, not stop gap leaps of faith. Why are we going to Mars? There has to be a reason past the one of "because Bush suddenly decided". We are curtailing many research projects for this one thing. Is this appropriate? Why are we abandoning the L orbits?

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