Saturday, March 13, 2004

Hubble Again

The NYT prints an editorial today that will probably once again prompt Keith Cowling over at NASA Watch to ballistic indignation, but as usual, the NYT's approach to the Hubble situation is balanced and intelligent:

Harold Gehman Jr., the retired admiral who was chairman of the board that investigated the Columbia accident, suggested in an advisory opinion that NASA had more latitude than Mr. O'Keefe let on. The admiral said his board did not expect the same robust inspection and repair capabilities available at the station to be provided on shuttles headed elsewhere. In other words, he said, NASA should simply "do the best you can" on a Hubble mission.

Indeed. The rules NASA has put in place after the Columbia accident go far beyond anything CAIB required they do, and in fact are utterly hysterical and backward looking. Hubble can and should be serviced, and it can be done safely.

Maybe it's time for Sean "Roadblock" O'Keefe to go back to some other position in his friend Dubya's administration where he can do less harm.

UPDATE: Sean O'Keefe responds here.

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