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“Return on Astronauts”

Virgin Space

I tend to be a bit critical of the science and technology reportage of the New York Times —to be more precise, some of the writings of Dennis Overbye published there, exemplary among them this recrement, with it’s apparent disregard of even rudimentary aspects of the history of the modern sciences— but, credit where credit is due, the paper does do space well; even in its typos:

“The primary mission of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, gathering data on the Moon from an altitude of 31 miles to prepare for the return on astronauts [My italics.-Mb], will continue for a year. After that, it will continue to operate to gather information for scientists.

What an interesting concept, return on astronauts, even if unintended.

Michael Heim, a philosopher of technology, poo poos the commercialization of space mainly because it “will neglect the long-range research needed for space science” and instead obsess over short-term profits. I can buy that. But the pro-commerce wing of the space travel community is clearly ascendant. Since the fundament of space technology and the American space program rests on public funds, I wonder what portion of the R.O.A. will eventually make its way back to the public coffers.

Alongside the fit-to-print stuff, you might also find Space Politics and Space Ports edifying samplings.

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