Charles Seife's Jihad Against Human Space Flight Defies Scientific ConclusionsMarkWhittington writes "Now that Robert Park is in the winter of his life and James Van Allen is dead, an unlikely person named Charles Seife, not a scientist but rather a professor of journalism, has taken up the banner of the jihad to destroy NASA's human spaceflight program.
In an article in Slate and a later post on his personal blog, Professor Seife compared the space agency to a Panda, cute but in danger of extinction. The reason, he suggests, NASA's "fixation" on human space flight. Like Van Allen, Park, and a slew of politicians before him, Seife would see NASA's human space flight ended and space exploration solely conducted by robots.
To be sure space probes like Mars Curiosity, Cassini, and the Chinese Chang'e 3 have astonished the world with their scientific discoveries. But those feats do not in any way negate the utility of people as space explorers. Indeed, a 2004 study by the British Royal Astronomical Society concluded that human explorers are crucial for gaining a scientific understanding of the space environment and its phenomenon."
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