Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Griffin Must Go

Michael Griffin is the wrong man to head NASA.

He's developed a new plan for NASA that calls for spending billions on new rockets that may not even work, while closing down the shuttle program completely.

NASA engineers are already walking away:

...Some inside the development program have complained that it is run with a my-way-or-the-highway attitude that stifles dissent and innovation. Jeffrey Finckenor, an engineer who left NASA this year, sent a goodbye letter to colleagues that expressed his frustrations with the program. “At the highest levels of the agency, there seems to be a belief that you can mandate reality,” he wrote, “followed by a refusal to accept any information that runs counter to that mandate.” The letter was posted to the independent NASA Watch Web site...

...in April, Richard Gilbrech, NASA’s associate administrator for exploration systems at the time, testified before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics that “we can’t justify, based on laws of physics, the performance” claimed by the plan’s proponents...

Pressure has grown to keep the shuttles flying. In July, former Senator John Glenn of Ohio said in testimony before the House Science and Technology Committee that he favored flying the shuttles until the Constellation craft were ready to fly. “I never thought I would see the day when the world’s richest, most powerful, most accomplished spacefaring nation would have to buy tickets from Russia to get up to our station,” said Mr. Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth.

Continuing shuttle flights has also been proposed by the New Democracy Project, a group with strong ties to John D. Podesta, a co-chairman of the Obama transition team.

To Mr. Griffin, though, such proposals threaten to scuttle the new space program by hijacking billions of dollars that could go to Constellation development. He also argues that the shuttle’s considerable risks make it unsafe to continue flying it. In an interview in November, Mr. Griffin defended the program he has put in place.

“U.S. civil space policy, in terms of its goals, was headed in the wrong direction after the Nixon administration,” he said. Today, with the nation talking about going back to the Moon, exploring near-Earth asteroids and even going to Mars, “that’s the right path for us to be investing in,” he said...

Griffin's game is the shell game. Manned exploration of the Moon and Mars is held out as a sparkly bangle to amuse the rubes, while billions go to the corporations that are a big part of Bu$hie's Ba$e. Robotic exploration, and scientific exploration are eliminated: except for the spy satellites that monitor an ever smaller, ever more tightly controlled Earth.

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