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02/05/2003 Entry: "Paul Krugman on NASA's misguided ideas of success"

And now a word or several from the most sensible man on earth:

"Faced with the thought that manned space travel the real thing, not the show NASA puts on to keep the public entertained could already have happened if history had played out a bit differently, I was forced to confront my youthful dreams of space flight with the question, So what? I found myself trying to think of wonderful things people might have done in space these past 30 years and came up blank. Scientific observation? Machines can do that. Mining the asteroids? A dubious idea but even if it makes sense, machines can do that too. (A parallel: Remember all those predictions of undersea cities? Sure enough, we now extract lots of valuable resources from the ocean floor but nobody wants to live there, or even visit in person.)"
A Failed Mission by Paul Krugman, NYT, Feb 4, 2003 (for the dreaded NYT login in, use "hackenblog" and "hackenbush")

Much of NASA really is for pageant and spectacle, with some dazzzzling science tossed in. When Challenger
crashed in 1986, the investigation revealed, in part, that the project had been something of a rush job. I do remember hearing, briefly, that this was because the Reagan administration wanted something to take the peasants, sorry, citizens' minds off how messed up the government was. Challenger crashed on January 28, 1986. On June 5, 1985, David Stockman said that if the Securities and Exchange Commission had jurisdiction over the way the executive and legislative branches of government have handled the deficit, "many of us would be in jail." And that was just one incident in a very embarrassing year for the Regan cabal. Is there a connection? Well, even paranoids have enemies. Thanks The Bonzo Years - 1985 I'd be doing a lot more google searching without you guys.

 

 

 

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