Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nobel Laureate Disses NASA's Manned Spaceflight

The International Space Station is an orbital turkey.....

That's what Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg said.

You go, Steven!

As many physicists/scientists have mentioned many times (including Bob Park in his weekly column What's New), manned space flight program has not produced much science, and certainly not commensurate with the cost.

"No important science has come out of it. I could almost say no science has come out of it. And I would go beyond that and say that the whole manned spaceflight program, which is so enormously expensive, has produced nothing of scientific value."

What is even sadder is that these types of projects that have no scientific merit are getting the green light, whereas really strong science projects like the Beyond Einstein missions are having to fight among themselves to be the one to take off. NASA has been forced to be more of a "cheerleader" rather than a scientific organization, where what gets funded has more to do with political whims rather than solid science. Now this is fine if this is what is being sold to the public. If the public is silly enough to prefer to pay for such a thing, then the public deserve what they get, which are more orbiting turkeys. But if this is sold as great scientific endeavor, then it is a lie, especially when most scientists, and certainly the prominent ones, are not support it.


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