The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, January 28, 2005

More bad science from the White House

The International Space Station is a money pit that hasn't provided any scientists with any useful data. The Hubble telescope has been close to revolutionary in the way that it's allowed astronomers and physicists to understand the universe. Naturally, as physicist Robert Park writes, the budget takes this into account:

"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. "