[EAS] Hubble Trouble and more
pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Fri Jan 28 19:17:31 EST 2005
Subject: Hubble Trouble and more
Dear Colleagues -
I'm forwarding another issue of "What's New." No comment is needed.
Some of you have your own sbscriptions. Sorry for the duplication.
WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 28 Jan 05 Washington, DC
1. VISION: WHERE DOES THE ADMINISTRATION GET ITS SCIENCE ADVICE?
On Feb 7, when the President's FY06 Budget Request is released,
Sean O'Keefe will announce that no money is allotted for repair
of the Hubble Space Telescope. However, money will be provided
to drop the greatest telescope ever built into the ocean. Fixing
Hubble with astronauts is too dangerous, O'Keefe said. Repairing
Hubble with robots is too uncertain, an NRC panel said. It's too
expensive anyway, the White House said. On the same day, the
White House estimated the budget deficit at $427B. Besides, it
wasn't too dangerous for the ISS crew to spend five hours outside
yesterday repairing a Russian robot arm. So what's the arm for?
It's so astronauts can make repairs without going outside. Hmmm.
But why would anyone bother to repair the ISS? It doesn't do
anything. Drop the ISS in the ocean, and save Hubble.
2. JIMO: U.S. PLANETARY SCIENTISTS DO IT THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY.
It sounded exciting in 2003 when NASA announced that the Jupiter
Icy Moons Orbiter mission would be the first nuclear-propelled
mission under Project Prometheus. But now it looks like a plan
to put them off while NASA focuses on Moon/Mars. Kinky is nice,
but if conventional will get to Europa, they'll take it. Europa
may be the last hope of finding other life in the solar system.
3. OPINIONS: THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY--OPINIONS ARE ANOTHER MATTER.
The Education Department paid commentator Armstrong Williams
$240,000 to plug the No Child Left Behind Act. Health and Human
Services paid columnist Maggie Gallagher $21,500 to promote the
marriage initiative. This is hardly big bucks compared to a guy
with a good jump shot, but fans still need to know who's paying.
WN gets tons of mail from readers pointing out stories we missed.
We use a lot of them but no one ever enclosed a check.
4. CREATIONISM: SHOULD WARNING MESSAGES BE REQUIRED ON BOOKS?
Manufactures are required to include warnings on labels. Why not
text book publishers? Besides, the stickers Cobb County wanted
on biology texts weren't exactly wrong evolution really is
"just a theory." http://www.aps.org/WN/WN05/wn011405.cfm Science
is open. If someone comes up with a better theory, the textbooks
will be rewritten. Although requiring warning labels on medicine
bottles is vital, on books they become official doctrine.
Several readers suggested stickers for bibles in Cobb County:
"This book contains religious stories regarding the
origin of living things. The stories are theories, not
facts. They are unproven, unprovable and in some cases
totally impossible. This material should be approached
with an open mind, and a critical eye towards logic and
THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND.
Opinions are the author's and not necessarily shared by the
University of Maryland, but they should be.
Archives of What's New can be found at http://www.aps.org/WN
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