The dangers of another Challenger-type mishap are mounting

Recollect the Curt Brown transport mission of 1998? Obviously you don’t. You know it as the John Glenn mission-however Brown was the commandant. That is on the grounds that Americans made an association with Glenn and the other Mercury and Apollo space explorers. We believed we knew them as people thus felt put resources into their venture. From that point forward, NASA has figured out how to transform a corps of potential legends into a lot of practically indistinct robots.

Despite the fact that NASA presently has space travelers living for extensive stretches on the space station, the office has disinfected their experience, depicting them as minimal more than celebrated development laborers. Whenever Bill Shepherd, the commandant of the main team to live on board the station, started keeping an every day diary that gave the public a feeling of what life was truly similar to on the station, NASA answered by eliminating it from general visibility.

More trustworthiness would go quite far. Indeed, even disappointments can mobilize support. Recall the saints of Apollo 13? Energizing as it could be to feel the thunder of the van’s motors at Cape Canaveral, or to get the sparkle of the space station as it passes upward, or to see a little meanderer moving over a stone great many miles away, it isn’t the equipment that moves us. It’s the space travelers with their cheeks extended by G powers, the space explorers letting us know what lightning resembles from space, and the researchers bouncing with merriment on the grounds that their lander contacts down securely on Mars.

We aren’t recommending that NASA resort to contrivances. “We are at this point not in the ‘heartfelt’ time of spaceflight,” says John M. Logsdon, overseer of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. “At this point, space should be more than public diversion.” But NASA shouldn’t be embarrassed about profiting by the PR allure of its representatives.

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