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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.

Monday, April 30, 2007

What did NASA have to do with Stephen Hawking's Flight?

NASA seems to be grabbing the coattails of Stephen Hawking's Zero-G flight last week. Zero-G is a private company and as far as I know, NASA had nothing to do with Dr. Hawking's flight. Alan Stern, NASA associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters in Washington said:

"Stephen Hawking's flight to experience zero gravity is exciting. I can say from flying hundreds of parabolas aboard NASA KC-135s myself that the experience is eye-opening, exhilarating and personally fulfilling. My own experiences primarily were participating in research in space motion sickness and later, low-gravity accretion. But it's the 21st century now, and I expect more and more scientists to be conducting research in zero gravity, and even in space, as new vehicles and venues for such research open."

This wasn't a research flight. Dr. Hawking did it for the experience. Space isn't just about science. And please God don't let it become another Antarctica:

"Space is as much a place for scientists, I believe, as the arctic, Antarctic, and the deep ocean. And Dr. Hawking is showing the way."

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