Friday, March 18, 2005

 

New NASA director signals shift to old STAR WARS program

Continuing a major shift in the United States government resources, now NASA is poised to become a new stalwart for weapons research, specifically the multi-billion dollar missile defense effort. On March 11, the president named Michael Griffin the new NASA director. Dr. Griffin clearly has excellent technical qualifications, being a physicist with a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, and having managed major war-related research efforts in academia, industry, and government. While it is laudable that Dr. Griffin supports the space exploration "vision of the president", the man has a darker side, literally, as he is a major supporter of STAR WARS, i.e. spending billions of dollars of taxpayer money in what the majority of the scientific community considers an impractical technology (with the sole exception of early launch-phase defense systems). So, Dr. Griffin is nothing more than the newest Darth Vader, at the service of the evil emperor! Or if you like, a new Dr. Evil (laugh here if you have a sense of humor). The whole Moon and Mars thing is just Public Relations to distract from their plans to develop missile defense technologies. That is, because STAR WARS needs so much money that they will have to reach for NASA's pockets.

While NASA was created as a public relations icon of the Cold War by using missile technology for civilian research, it is now clear that its $20 billion dollar yearly budget will be increasingly channeled towards super-rockets for missile defense, or so it appears, judging from Dr. Vader's background and experience. This signals the end of the golden era of NASA Science: the great observatories led by the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope (itself also a test-bed for spy-satellite technology). Many people do not realize it, but in this golden era, NASA technology has been used to date the Age of the Universe very accurately, discover new mysterious matter and energy in the Universe, and in general make great discoveries that have just mind-boggling importance for human knowledge. Many important science projects will be gone in a few years thanks to the new war mongers, unless the projects are somewhat related to weapons, defense, or spying. Reality is echoing fiction once again. To quote the wise Yoda character in the STAR WARS Episode II movie: "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

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