As a journalist one tries to find the right words to explain events, the right phrases to explain flaws in a concept or an idea. We do the best we can – but sometimes someone who is not a journalist – sums up the situation far better than we ever could. Such was the case recently when Dr. Paul Spudis cast a light on efforts to direct NASA away from the path that it was on. He calls out the epic flaws in this agenda in simple, easy-to-understand terms that leaves one wondering how anyone could support what these changes will do to America’s manned spaceflight capabilities.
Spudis is a geologist who has worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, was the Principal Investigator (P.I.) for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Solar System Exploration Division planetary geology program. Later he joined the Lunar and Planetary Institute located in Houston before joining the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He returned to the Lunar and Planetary Institute where he currently works as a senior staff scientist. Spudis has worked on several space missions including Clementine and Chandrayaan-1. He is also the author of several books on space exploration – in short? He knows of what he speaks.
Spudis eviscerates the cult-like followers of NewSpace groups that believe that they can do better than NASA. He also does not pull any punches with those that limply try to state that NASA’s new direction is Mars and that this new plan has any other destination than seeing NASA dismantled. It is blunt, brutally honest – it is the cold dash of water to the faces of those who believe that getting astronauts into space can be done faster, better and cheaper with current technology.
To read Dr. Paul Spudis’ commentary, please click – The Once and Future Moon