NASA: “Fuck Earth”

July 26th, 2006 | researchmaterial

NASA has reportedly eliminated the promise “to understand and protect our home planet” from its mission statement.

That statement was repeatedly cited last winter by NASA climate scientist James Hansen, who said he was being threatened by political appointees for speaking about the dangers posed by greenhouse gas emissions.

But NASA officials told The New York Times the elimination of the phrase that was used by Hansen was “pure coincidence.” The statement now proclaims the agency’s mission is “to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.”

A NASA spokesman said the change brings the agency into line with U.S. President George W. Bush’s goal of pursuing human spaceflight to the moon and Mars.

One observer noted results from NASA’s increasing involvement in monitoring the Earth’s environment have sparked political disputes concerning the Bush administration’s environmental policies…


17 Responses to “NASA: “Fuck Earth””

  1. In other words, “We’re giving up on this heap and focusing on escape pods”

  2. Glad to see W is cutting his loss and looking for a new planet to fuck over.

  3. NASA’s new promise “Oil on Mars”

  4. hell I’d start saying theres oil on any planet just to get funding

  5. Just to be fair … The news stories I’ve read have all pointed the finger at the White House. A lot of the rank-and-file NASA scientists are deeply unhappy about the change.

  6. For what it’s worth, “to understand and protect our home planet” was only added to NASA’s mission statement in 2003. It represented NASA’s decision to move away from interplanetary missions (which were unlikely to get the necessary funding any time soon), and focus more on “local” projects, Reaganesque Star Wars defense systems, Near-Earth Object detection, and the like.

  7. Earth is to Mars as New Jersey is to New York.

    please don’t turn our green planet brown :(

  8. fuck.

  9. NASA did not change it’s mission statement. The Bush administration changed it last February after Dr. James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, announced that without leadership by the United States, climate change would eventually leave the earth “a different planet.” Unwilling the heed NASA’s warnings, the ever sneaky conservatives simply rewrote the mission statement in a desperate attempt to shift people’s awarness away from the issue. News of the change is just now making its way through NASA. In response, in their usual, sneaky fashion, t

    There’s a complete report with links here:

    http://ashabot.blogspot.com/2006/07/conservatives-rewrite-nasa-mission.html

  10. Does this mean we should prepare for alien invasion and all the probings and brain-eating that would entail?

  11. I wonder if anyone is dissapointed that NOAA or the EPA are not working on colonizing Mars…

    NASA is about exactly what the acronym stands for: Aeronautics and Space.

    If some other earth-focused agency wants to hitch a ride with NASA, fine. And they can pay their own way too.

    Each agency should have a specific focus. Like a previous commenter mentioned, “duplication of effort” is a governmental trick to finding new sources of funding when others dry up. NASA’s space exploration budget was shrinking, and “eco-stuff” was a viable alternate mission that they might have a chance of slipping by the budgetary watchdogs.

    Maybe we should make our deployed soldiers carry toxic waste remediation gear in addition to the 70+ pounds of gear they are issued currently…

  12. Not a bad idea, Jason!
    Better yet, they can leave their rifles at home and instead go around spreading peace and prosperity.

  13. And just how are the EPA and NOAA going to study the planet without satellites in orbit?

    I’m no rocket scientist but I imagine that’s going to involve Aeronautics and/or Space somewhere along the line.

    Or are you proposing that the EPA and NOAA have their own launch sites (but wouldn’t that be “duplication of effort”)?

    And another thing – I’m not sure how only studying planets millions of kilometers away and ignoring the one right here is an efficient use of tax dollars (not fiscal responsibility is anything the Bush administration will ever be accused of).

  14. It’s high time America realised that they’re not in charge of the planet.

  15. You’re right Kevin, but at the end of the day, who’s gonna convince everyone to put together a huge, multinational space and environment agency? Who’ll pay for it, the yanks won’t put any money in, the Chinese won’t, why the fuck should they, they’re doing OK. The Japanese the English and the French, the Germans and Spanish would (provided it included stipulation that the Japanese could kill all the whales they wanted and that French & British farmers could get subsidies). The Russians you say? A few quid maybe.

    And which language would the eminent scientists work in? English? that’s the French out, French, that’s the British out, Japanese, that’s everyone out, Spanish? Why? how much money would Spain put in? Look at the EU attempt at a space programme and try not to laugh. And NASA, and the Spanish, and the Chinese and Japanese and look at the duplication of effort there. Of course the world would be better off if everyone chipped in, but they won’t, cos humans are territorial, tribal thinking, self-centred, nationalistic bastards and politicians realise that votes are a lowest common denominator commodity.

    The sad fact is that america has money and money gets things done. But… if everyone got together and created a multi-national agency without america, you can bet they’d jump on, well that or blow something up.

  16. Paul,

    Like I said, The EPA and NOAA can get their sattelites in orbit via NASA, but THEY should have to budget the funding for that. Maybe they do already, but environmental protection isn’t (or shouldn’t be) NASA’s collective purview.

    Now, ask me whether I think EVERY agency should COMPLY with environmental regulations and that is another question entirely. Yes, they should. AND I also think that EVERY American should do his/her part to protect the environment. BUT the question is: Should NASA divert millions of dollars of enviro-money to themselves, that would otherwise be better spent by other agencies? Just because they are worried that their bread-and-butter (space exploration) is drying up? Maybe Americans would be more excited about space exploration if NASA wasn’t so risk-averse. No more seat of the pant’s “challengers of the unknown” stuff for us, thank you!

    Kevin, as far as space is concerned, anyone can play…But I’m reminded of a great Eddie Izzard bit about how it would be a great accomplishment for Great Britain’s space agency to put a man on the roof of a house using a ladder.

    Like I said, we American’s are losing the nerve for real, frontier-busting space exploration. The Chinese don’t worry so much about things like “where is the money going to come from” and “what if these guys die”, so as soon as they get past the technical challenges, I expect them to do some impressive stuff.

  17. @Jason: I disagree that you can separate Earth observation from space exploration.

    If you ever want to set up colonies in orbit or on the Moon or Mars, it’d be useful to know how to construct and sustain biospheres from the one good biopshere we’ve already got.

    If you want to find extra-terrestrial life, it’d be useful to understand the type of life we can observe.

    Earth is the one planet we can study up close – it seems foolish not to see what it can tell us about planetary formation etcetc.

    As for protecting the Earth – if there are changes going on on Earth that might impact on our ability to explore space (such as rapid and destructive climate change), then that’s a legitimate concern. Equally, by nixing the protection part of the mission statement – does that include dealing with asteroid collisions?

    I do agree that NASA is probably risk adverse. On the other hand, they do have a duty of care to the people they stick on top of their rockets. China can afford to be more cavalier because its space agency doesn’t have to answer to a democratically elected Congress.