Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Let's mine the blamed thing.

Contra The Times' Paul Thornton, returning to the moon is a very
worthwhile expenditure of tax money, argues the author of "Rocket
By Homer Hickam
August 28, 2007

I read the La Times opinion by Homer Hickam and the comments that followed.
If you have opinions on the subject you might like to read as well.
- LRK -

NSS gets an endorsement from "Rocket Boys/October Sky" author Homer
Posted by: "" jimspellman
Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:32 pm (PST)
Go to:,0,4502531.story?coll=la

and scroll down to the comments section, or go directly to:,0,3020443.graffitiboard?

BTW -- Feel free to pass these links along to others?and ask?them to
contribute their viewpoints?to help sustain this discussion (Hey, it's
not?often?the L.A. Times?gives us a forum -- therefore, we need to
take advantage of it, NOW!).


Jim Spellman

Should you care to read Paul Thorton's opinion article to go along
with the contra opinions.
- LRK -

Opinion Daily
Space program lunacy

How the shuttle program and pipe dreams of the moon bleed research for
this planet.
By Paul Thornton
August 22, 2007
Hurricane Dean's march toward the Gulf Coast couldn't have provided a
more ironic backdrop for Space Shuttle Endeavour's early touchdown
Tuesday afternoon. Endeavour, originally scheduled to return to Earth
today, landed in Florida a day early in anticipation of Dean's
possible landfall over Houston, where NASA's Johnson Space Center
handles the orbiter's reentry into the atmosphere. In the event of a
Houston landfall, NASA would have had to close the space center for
the storm's duration.

The original version of this article incorrectly laid responsibility
for replacing the QuikSCAT satellite on NASA. The National Oceaning
and Atmospheric Administration, which is under the U.S. Department of
Commerce, operates QuikSCAT and is responsible for replacing the

Neither NASA nor anyone else could have so thoroughly observed Dean
and altered the shuttle's flight plan without the help of QuikSCAT, a
low-Earth-orbit satellite operated by the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration that observes wind speed and direction over
the planet's oceans. But thanks to the Bush administration's focus on
manned spaceflight � including the costly maintenance required to
launch aging shuttles like Endeavour into space just a few times a
year, and the even more science-fictional development of a program to
put humans back on the moon more than a decade from now � the future
of the network of aging weather satellites that monitor weather
patterns such as hurricanes is in serious jeopardy.

Well just thought I would liven up your day since I have been busy
with two grandchildren getting started in fifth and sixth grades here
in California away from their folks who are in the process of
deploying to Iraq.

And one talks about budget costs. hmmmm, best not go there.
- LRK -

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Spirits having blown back
Posted: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 17:35:51 -0700

Our relatively newish Blowback feature -- or, as Jeff Jarvis describes
it, a "lame" and "very controlling effort to add just a little bit of
interactivity" to L.A. Times content -- has its latest installment up
now: Rocket Boys author Homer Hickam giving our beleaguered Paul
Thornton a what-for about the wisdom of NASA re-conquering the moon.
This Hickam passage is well worth the price of admission:

When I was a West Virginia lad of 17, I met a Massachusetts lad of
42 by the name of John F. Kennedy. At the time, I was in a bright
orange suit that I had just purchased to wear to the 1960 National
Science Fair, where I hoped my home-built rockets would win a medal.
Kennedy was in West Virginia trying to win the state's presidential
primary. We met just as he finished a speech designed to convince a
crowd of less-than-enthusiastic coal miners to give him their vote.
When he asked for questions, I raised my hand and, for some reason, he
noticed me right off. Because I was a rocket boy, I asked him what he
thought we should do in space. He turned it around and asked me what I
thought we should do, and I said we should go to the moon. When he
asked me why, I looked around at all those coal miners and said, well,
we ought to go up there and just mine the blamed thing! The miners all
laughed, and so did Kennedy, and when he agreed with me, he secured
all their votes that day. For the longest time, I took credit for the
Apollo moon program and, though I'd been shipped off to Vietnam when
we got there, I followed the moon flights with a certain personal

Other recent highlights from the Blowback archive -- Diane von
Furstenberg disagrees with our editorial against fashion copyrights,
Riverside professor R. Stephen White rebuts our "No to nukes"
editorial, and dog-lover Robert Hotckiss challenges Joel Stein to
pistols at dawn.
And more opinions, should you care to read. - LRK -
-------------------------------------------------------------- Opinion LA blog

� DHS objections, and paternity horror stories | Main | When you let
kids write about education.... �
Paul, this mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it

Not since Frank Gorshin and some other guy played the black/white,
white/black haters on Star Trek have space people been as fired-up as
they are over Paul Thornton's Opinion Daily "Space program lunacy."
And some of the rage is warranted: Our gaffe in the original story
about the connections and lack thereof between NOAA, NASA and the
QuikSCAT satellite has been corrected, and we apologize for the error.
Paul knows he's made some very poor decisions recently, but he can
give you his complete assurance that his work will be back to normal.
He's still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission.

Wendy Dunham gives Paul a Gopher State whuppin':

Yeah, and I can write an article that reports what NASA actually
HAS done for the Earth that would blow this article out of the water.
Obviously, a good word smith can spin a story like this any way you
like, talk about the million dollar toilet, etc, focus on the seeming
wastes, but if you dug down into the facts and saw all the stuff that
HAS come from NASA that is improving the real world (and it's a lot
more than pens that write upside down or Tang), that list that would
eclipse any further "what have they done" articles. Dig, people, dig,
The truth is out there.

Wendy Dunham
Minneapolis, MN


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