Thursday, January 15, 2004
It's tempting to say that the Call To Manned Mars Exploration By President Dubya shows that history repeats itself, the second time as opportunism the third time as pantomime. His Dad made a similar call in 1989, providing a justification for the Manned Space Station. The contrarian view is put by Prof. Robert Park who in 2003 protested against "self-serving and misleading public pronouncements by government agencies. What's behind this is the NASA conviction that the public will not support a space program that does not involve putting humans in space". Park champions unmanned probes like Beagle, good science he says. As an occasional Trekkie I'm saddened to say he has a point even though one of my favourite physicists, Freeman Dyson, poetically disagrees.