Bob Park: A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT ABOUT NASA SCIENCE

Jeg abonnerer på Bob Park sitt ukentlige nyhetsbrev «What’s New». (Det kan du også gjøre ved å besøke denne siden og melde deg på.)

I forrige ukes nyhetsbrev skrev han et åpent brev til USA sin nye president. Jeg synes han hadde mange gode poeng:

Dear Mr. President:
Last month you said the space agency is drifting and needs a mission «appropriate for the twenty-first century.» The new Administrator, you said, should think about «the next great adventures and discoveries under the NASA banner.» I know you’ve been busy with G20 stuff and haven’t had time to name this visionary, so in an effort to help What’s New did the thinking for whoever it will be:

1) Astronauts are a relic of the 1960’s «space race» and a major obstacle to the continued exploration of space. Therefore the ISS, which serves no useful purpose anyway, should be given to China and the crew sent home on the Soyuz. Maybe astronauts could be awarded medals for courage in fighting the Cold War.

2) Global-warming critics insist climate change is the result of solar variations and is not anthropogenic. Therefore, NASA should move with due haste to locate DSCOVR at the unique Lagrange-1 vantage point to resolve this question.

3) The greatest quest in science is to find life to which we are not related. Therefore, NASA’s robotic exploration of the solar system should be expanded to include the ocean moons of Jupiter. There should also be a ban on human visits to any planet that might harbor life; we’re crawling with bugs.

4) The great discovery of this century is the existence of planets around other stars. The bad news is that we can’t get to an exoplanet. The good news is they can’t get here. Therefore we should employ the huge advances in optical technology to develop a new generation of advanced space telescopes capable of examining exoplanets for evidence of life.