Friday, January 28, 2011

The Challenger Explosion

[via this from LGM]

This analysis by the late Richard Feynman is long and detailed, but important to understand. It ends where I'd like to begin, with this quote:

"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."

It was 25 years ago today that the space shuttle "Challenger" exploded. I suspect conventional remembrances will include sorrow for the loss of life, celebrations of the bravery of the dead, and some sense that it was "worth it," because hey, space ships are cool.

My take is, we wasted a lot of money on a relatively useless program.  We also allowed ourselves to be fooled by those with a vested interest in promoting this waste. I realize that important things have come from the space program. But my values are closer to this:

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