Front Page


Editor: Veronica Pierce
OpEd: Dan Schrimpsher
Reporter: Dan Schrimpsher
Finance: Veronica Pierce
Contact Us Alternative Contact
space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Oh My Goodness, NASA is going to Nuke Space!

This just irritates me so bad, my brain hurts.
From's Astronotes dated May 11, 2005:

A Member of Congress is expressing grave concerns over NASA's Project Prometheus nuclear rocket program.

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, representing the 4th District of Georgia, is spearheading an effort to find like-minded lawmakers to question the building and deployment of a nuclear propulsion rocket and to protect the public from the potential of a catastrophic nuclear accident posed by the Prometheus Project.

And here is the (really) irritating part:
In a Dear Colleague letter dated May 5 to other members of Congress, Representative McKinney is seeking the support of Members of Congress for shifting Federal funding from the development of nuclear propulsion systems to research and development for solar and other alternative energy systems that can support our space program.

What? Solar power? What does she think NASA uses, unleaded? I think somebody needs to point out to Congresswoman McKinney the farther away from the Sun you get, the less solar energy you have. Solar power requires a star fairly close by. In this case, nuclear is an alternative energy source.

This is not a validation of the Prometheus project, which has many problems, but rather support of new propulsion technologies. Just because somebody says the word "nuclear", we can't jerk back and make the sign of the cross. Nuclear energy is not inherently bad. Who knows what energy source we are going to settle on when we (finally) get to space. We shouldn't limit the options now.

1 comment:

Michael Mealling said...

Georgia is really ashamed that she was re-elected. McKinney is known around here as the "cutest little communist in congress". But she also has no power in Congress so its not that big of an issue.