"Leaked" email by NASA's Mike Griffin

Bad Astronomy
By Phil Plait
Sep 8, 2008 10:43 PMNov 5, 2019 7:10 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

The Aero-News Network reports having an email by NASA Administrator Mike Griffin which was leaked to the press. I don't know the pedigree of it, though it sounds like him, and he evidently issued a public disclaimer about it (also posted at the Aero-News site). I can see Griffin's frustration here. Mandated to do two different things (retire the Shuttle, build Ares) and not having enough money, with the added fun of a 4-5 year gap between losing the Shuttle and launching the first Ares (which would still mean some years before having it ready to lift a human into space). In the meantime, the Russians are playing stupid games in Georgia, and that means we lose their help getting to the station. The Space Station was a bad idea since its current implementation was picked, and now we're stuck with it, a 100 billion dollar albatross. And we can't even get to it after 2010! This situation is insane, and I hope the next president coming in can do something about it... but even then he'll be limited in his capabilities. There simply cannot be a new rocket before 2014, and I don't think they can stretch the Shuttle that long. It'll be 1975 - 1981 all over again (after Apollo-Soyuz but before the Shuttle). NASA is a political agency, but the nature of short-term thinking coupled with ridiculous political decisions are crippling our ability to get people into space. The government has always been penny-wise and pound foolish, but now this is costing us a lot of pounds.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.