Monday, March 4, 2024
Monday, March 4, 2024
HomeScienceFormer NASA employee criticizes government for “insanity, arrogance and fully informed ignorance”

Former NASA employee criticizes government for “insanity, arrogance and fully informed ignorance”

“Shame on those members of the political class whose machinations caused today’s tragedy.”

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A former NASA employee is criticizing the government’s shortsightedness and, perhaps a little hyperbolically, comparing Congress to Rome.

in a editorial for NASA clockJeff Nosanov, former chief proposal officer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), compared the agency’s recent layoffs, which affected eight percent of the lab’s employees, to other “historical mistakes” made by fallen empires.

“Occasionally in human history,” Nosanov wrote, “a superpower will choose to abandon a leadership position or relinquish dominance of a frontier, in favor of or because of internal or internal conflict.”

In the case of the NASA layoffs, which affected about 530 employees and 40 contractors at the agency’s joint facility with Caltech in Pasadena, California, this farce occurred because Congress is in stagnation over budget issues.

In Nosanov’s opinion, this failure of leadership is unacceptable precisely because of how important JPL is to the extraordinary achievements of the United States in space and because, unlike the mistakes made by past rulers, the current ones have a historical precedent. that should banish their “ignorance.” “

“The Western Roman Empire fell into chaos in the 5th century as a result of an overly aggressive foreign policy,” he wrote, “leaving the Byzantine Empire to last 100 years.”

Big bag clumsily

It is no exaggeration to suggest, as Nosanov does in his impassioned editorial, that JPL is the crown jewel of the American space program. Many of his employees immigrated to this country to work there, he wrote, “fulfilling that great calling of America: to bring out the best in people around the world.”

“JPL took the United States and humanity to the Moon in the 1960s with early robotic space exploration,” Nosanov continued, “and to this day pushes the limits beyond the edge of the Solar System.”

Now, the lab’s layoffs have jeopardized one of its most important programs: the Mars Sample Return mission, which could help us discover life on the Red Planet, further demonstrating how reckless Congressional budget tightening has been.

With layoffs sweeping the technology and science industries, the eradication of in-demand government jobs “will leave morale in ruins for a generation,” the former JPL employee wrote, and may leave the door open for China to take the lead. also in space exploration.

“History shows us what happens when a superpower abandons a border, someone else takes it, and that those things are conscious choices,” he declared. “It is the height of insanity, arrogance and fully informed ignorance that our leaders allow this to happen.”

JPL and the brilliant people who were fired “deserve better,” Nosanov wrote, before shaming “those in the political class whose machinations caused today’s tragedy.”

More about NASA: NASA investigates whether it could hire SpaceX for a trip to Mars

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