In its February 3rd edition, the Wall Street Journal carried an op-ed piece by Dr. Steven Weinberg, Obama Gets Space Funding Right, which was the usual, and tired, argument between robotic (science) and human space flight. Dr. Weinberg doesn’t waste time–by his fourth sentence he writes, The manned space flight program masquerades as science, but it actually crowds out real science at NASA, which is all done on unmanned missions.
Now, in steps former astronaut and planetary scientist Tom Jones, in a letter to the Wall Street Journal, to rebut Dr. Weinberg, by noting, I have flown on four space shuttle missions that delivered significant scientific advances in Earth science, astronomy, materials science, and biomedicine.
As Dr. Weinberg’s op-ed piece was motivated in support of President Obama’s effort to end our nation’s human space flight program, one would be allowed to also assume that the Journal would be interested in printing the rebuttal of an actual Astronaut and supporter of NASA’s human space flight program.
But such assumptions would be wrong. The Wall Street Journal has not published Astronaut Tom Jones’ letter. So he published it himself. It’s a good read.
(Via Flight Notes.)