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Griffin: Three NASA Decades a Mistake

NASA chief Michael Griffin has drunk the Bush Kool-Aid. This week he called the last three decades of NASA effort a “mistake”: Asked Tuesday whether the shuttle had been a mistake, Griffin said, “My opinion is that it was…. It…
September 29, 2005

NASA chief Michael Griffin has drunk the Bush Kool-Aid. This week he called the last three decades of NASA effort a “mistake”:

Asked Tuesday whether the shuttle had been a mistake, Griffin said, “My opinion is that it was…. It was a design which was extremely aggressive and just barely possible.” Asked whether the space station had been a mistake, he said, “Had the decision been mine, we would not have built the space station we’re building in the orbit we’re building it in.”

Hindsight sure is a crystal clear 20-20, isn’t it?

Griffin may actually be right–who really knows?–but how wise is it to say so–to disregard the collective work of most of the organization that you’re now counting on? And there’s more than a whiff of attitude here–sure, we got it wrong all these years, but don’t worry, we have it all figured out now. That’s more than a little condescending…when actually a lot of people think they don’t have it all figured out now or if that $104B price tag to go to the Moon is really worth it.

Before he dismisses the last 30 years of NASA effort, let’s hear Griffin articulate a convincing scientific and technological reason why we’re going back to the Moon–other than that our President says so.

Deep Dive

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

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