Science vs engineering
Heh. I beat slashdot
on the carbon nanotube sheet story
by 14 hrs.
I try really hard to find original sources, but frankly most of the time my web reading is limited to a few select blogs, Google News
, slashdot, and lwn
. I'd probably get more widely read if I posted to slashdot more often, but I write for me and I'm holding down a day job these days so... I look back at some of my recent posts and I want to fix the grammar - but I have got too much other stuff to do right now, I hope you're reading me just for the links.Selenian Boondocks
has some constructive suggestions for NASA
Today's noteworthy blog post is science vs engineering
in the Mars Society. I was pleased to discover that NASA adminsistrator Mike Griffin was a Mars Society member for eons before he took the top post - but the longstanding problems within most space based organizations continue to bother me. Why is it that the scientists sieze control of nearly every space advocacy organization? Is it because scientists have tons of time between experiments to organize while engineers are busy working? (I'm still burning over the L5-NSS takeover in the 80s)
Just my general before my first cup of coffee comment - science is a religion to some people. What the space program needs is less science and more engineering. Maybe I'll write more later...
And yea, my religion is engineering, but I recognise the need for a variety of personnel types in space.
I get this deep inner feeling of glee every time I think of one of Discovery's primary tasks this past mission - with all these PHDs supervising - taking out 5000 lbs of garbage
. I laughed my way through Walden II for the same reason.
Mars needs women - but space needs janitors, construction workers, and engineers!
oh yea, I note that John Glenn accepts the risks of flying the shuttle
...there's a lot to be done on that station that once we get the crew up. See, there are only two people up there now. It was designed for a crew of six, possibly seven, but crew of six all the time. And you need one or two people just to keep servicing the systems on the station itself, and the others can be doing research. Right now they're doing very little research up there, comparatively to what the thing was built to do. So I want to see us get on with that, and I want to see us be able to supply it, and if that means extending the shuttles out a little bit, it's a little bit of extra expense, that's well worth it with the investment we already have in that vehicle.
In other news, the Chinese are about 1/3 of the way towards replicating Gemini, with their first spacewalk planned in 2007