Known Johnson

February 7, 2007

Spaced

Filed under: General — Tom @ 11:48 pm

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a space junkie, so it should come as no surprise that I have to at least say something about this whole Space Diaper Murder Attempt situation.

What’s always been amazing about the space program is that it’s never been solely about the individual people. It’s been about the efforts of thousands and thousands of extremely gifted, talented, and resourceful people all working together to lift a small number of people skyward in the most complicated machinery that humankind can create. And it almost always works really well. We don’t normally see most of those hard-working people, and for most people, they don’t even see the few people who actually make it into space. And then something like this comes along and changes the focus from blurry to sharply focused on one very misguided, confused individual, yet the people’s scrutiny suddenly comes down on the entire space program. What they previously ignored all together they suddenly find is subject to their uneducated scrutiny and, generally, abject dismissal. This has, once again, ignited the age-old “the space program is a waste of money” arguments from people who couldn’t even tell you what the space program’s focus today consists of.

I ask that, instead of looking at this as a failure of NASA to detect a loon among the branches of the space program’s trees, they see it as an opportunity to fine tune the process by which they weed out those who are fit to fly in space. After over 45 years in space, it was bound to happen some time – someone with a less than solid grip on reality was bound to slip through. As many have said, better now than on a many months long trip to Mars in a couple of decades, right? That is, of course, if those who want to discount it don’t have their way and just simply shut down the whole space program. (It’ll never happen.)

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