Monday, July 30, 2007

Drama at NASA

NASA has always been among my most admired and respected agencies of the Federal Government, known for its reputation and highly-skilled scientists. The movie Apollo 13, starring Tom Hanks if you haven't seen it, is a true IMAX experience, but in addition, captures the astronomical abilities and leadership skills of these NASA folks both on the shuttle and back down at their Houston center. While I was in TX, I made it a point to visit Houston just to be inside the Johnson Space Center, just for kicks....

However, it is a pity to observe the recent happenings at this great insitution that hosts some of the best mathematical brains in the world.

(1) On at least 2 occasions, NASA astronauts were permitted to fly after drinking heavily, according to a report that was released last Friday by an independent investigation panel. Are you kidding me? While heavily is a relative term and the reports don't quantify it, dude c'mon, what are they flying here...? space shuttles for God sake...although the report also does not mention whether they were flying the space shuttle or were on the training planes. In either case, I don't think anyone would consider it acceptable or pardon the misdeed jeopardizing the flight safety.

(2) To add to their miseries, the space agency is also currently investigating the sabotage of a computer scheduled for delivery to the International Space Station (ISS) during a space shuttle mission next month. Reports say that a worker at a subcontractor deliberately cut the wires on the computer.

I wonder what is happening to the agency and what the government is planning to do to fix these issues, and restore its slowly tarnishing reputation...



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