“What is going on with those repairs in space? will they be able to fix them? what if they can’t? how will they get back?”
My reply was:
“Allison, don’t worry about the repairs in space. Those gap fillers are so inconsequential that I can’t even believe they are trying to fix them. They would be better off just leaving them hanging. The shuttle has always had things that come loose and it lands with missing tiles all the time, it is just that this time we have the cameras so we can see it all. I think that the only reason they are doing the repairs is to test the repair techniques and because the media has been so critical. The media is definitely the enemy of human spaceflight. Do not take what you hear on TV about the space program at face value, because a lot of it is bad information or just crap.”
“I agree with you that the media is crap…..the only reason I asked was because they’ve really “sensationalized” the whole story…ie: going into worst case scenarios, etc..”
This brings up how screwed up the media in this country is. In terms of the space program, our own local newspaper is one of the worst, always gloom and doom about NASA and then they call themselves the “Space Coast Newspaper.” How dare they! The TV stations are no better. They are all looking for a sensational story and will twist information use worst case scenarios, and take many liberties to “make” their stories. It disgusts me. The space program is something to be proud of and the way they report, they want us to fail so they can be more famous and popular. It is not just the space program though. I noticed last year with all of the hurricanes that the reporters on the Weather Channel seemed actually disappointed when certain hurricanes did not cause as much distruction as predicted. They hung their heads almost in disappointment! Unreal! The guys on one radio show I listen to sometimes said that they were out at Jacksonville Beach one time when a hurricane was coming, and there was a TV crew there filming the hurricane coverage. The news anchor was standing in front of a sign on the beach and somone was crouched below him shaking the sign to make it look like the wind was blowing really hard. This is the kind of sensationalist crap we see every day, whether we know it or not.
Which brings me to this, which I posted as a comment on the very interesting Tom’s Astronomy Blog, on a post he wrote about the media stating that NASA had “grounded” the shuttle fleet:
Technically, according to NASA, the shuttle is grounded everytime it lands, as it is not like an aircraft that has an airworthiness certificate issued that is good for many flights. The airworthiness is determined separately for each fight, and all they have said is that we will not fly until the problem is fixed. It is the same effect as a grounding, but technically a little different. I call it “grounded” as well, as it is pretty much the same thing.
The media loves to take hold of a word or phrase and use it whether or not they know what it means. This is just one more example of the utter ridiculousity of it all.
Anyways, so whenever you hear something like “will a hacksaw repair determine the end of the space shuttle program?” (I actually heard something to that effect today), keep in mind that the media is made up of a bunch of people who want us to fail because it makes for better news.
Thank you for your continued support.
Oh, and everyone go visit Allison’s and Tom’s blogs. They are both very cool.