Seen on RISKS-L

From: Douglas Quebbeman <>
Date: Fri Mar 8 07:06:50 2002

> The item referred to above is as follows:
> "In 1999, USC neurobiologist Joseph Miller asked NASA to check some old data
> the Viking probes had sent back from Mars in the mid-1970s. Miller wanted
> find out whether certain information on gas released by Martian soil, which
> at the time had been dismissed as meaningless "chemical activity," was
> actually evidence of microbial life. NASA found the tapes he requested, but
> they didn't find any way to read them. It turns out that the data, despite
> being only about 25 years old, was in a format NASA had long since
> about. Or, as Miller puts it, "The programmers who knew it had died."

What this really meant was that some manager at NASA who
was in the position of responsibility for these tapes
didn't have the staff or budget to deal with them.

A purely political issue, and not a technical one at all.

I used be one of NASA's biggest supporters, and my dream was
to work there some day. Year by year, my opinion of them has
decayed until we get to how they dealt with the Delta Clipper.

I've read the reports, and I'm convinced they deliberately
crashed it because it was in comptetition for funds for their
pet project, the venturestar (X-33). Which is now dead because
they can't figure out how to make hydrogen tanks for the linear
aerospike engine (very cool technology from Project Sun in the
1950s) that won't leak...


p.s. Revive the Delta Clipper!
Received on Fri Mar 08 2002 - 07:06:50 GMT

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