Tuesday, March 19, 2013


From the New York Daily News describing testimony today before the House Science Committee by Charles Bolden NASA Administrator
"What would we do if you detected even a small one like the one that detonated in Russia headed for New York in three weeks? What would you do?" Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) asked.

The witnesses turned to look at each other.
“Bend over and what?" Posey pressed, drawing chuckles from the hearing room.

"The answer to you is, if it's coming in three weeks, pray," Bolden said.

He said Americans might want the government to be able to zap asteroids —but the government has not provided the money to do so.

"We are where we are today because you all told us to do something — and between the Administration and the Congress ... the funding did not come," he said.

Eli is looking for the video


Anonymous said...

I saw it live. Charlie always delivers. If you want a show with all comedy and little or no substance, congressional hearings are the place to find them, and Charlie is a star of the absurd.

The funniest of all is the young loud guy without a question. He just wants his pork up front, no questions asked. And it shows.

And get this, my lunar death star proposal was 'out of scope' of the NIAC for being - 'incremental'.

You can't make this stuff up.

CapitalClimate said...

Meteorites are clearly a UN plot for world domination.

Anonymous said...



John said...

I'd suggest that "Charlie" hardly "delivered" but blew a chance to emphasize his point: adequate funding is being requested precisely to drastically lower the chances that we would ever find ourselves with only three weeks notice of an asteroid encounter AND to develop rapid response systems for emergencies.

One does NOT introduce the notion of praying in testimony before a committee controlled by the party of aspiring/closet theocrats.

If you are going to flippantly give them fuel to continue their war on science because "they won't do anything anyway," then turn down the invitation to testify as your time is better spent (and your agency's future is better served) by your starting work towards electing rational candidates in the 2014 mid- term election.

John Puma


Eli is looking for the video?

Here's the NASA Letter.

Anonymous said...

Why should Charlie break the long tradition of civil servants not delivering necessary services to the citizens of this great nation? I mean, gosh, how expensive and how long should an inner solar system outer looking infrared wide angle imaging satellite take anyways? Especially one that should have been flown twenty years ago or so by now?

Kinda late to the show, arntcha?

Anonymous said...

Senate hearing on this subject starts in five minutes. Popcorn!


a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Uh, dude, Charlie is not a civil servant. He is a political appointee. He is administrator of an agency that has no cabinet level representation, no mission and which most politicians would love to kill off if they could figure out how to do it without leaving fingerprints.

The lack of a mission is political: The Rethuglicans want all the detectors pointing out to space so we can't see how we're f***ing up the planet. The Dems (with the important exception of Mikulski) don't give a flying f***.

Stay tuned as NASA is replaced by two private entities--one to provide a thrill ride for billionaires and the other to provide thrills and chills and spills for the masses--call it NASACAR.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

CapitalClimate: "Meteorites are clearly a UN plot for world domination"

I for one welcome our new iron-nickel overlords.

Anonymous said...

Charlie is not a civil servant. He is a political appointee.

Charlie is a bumbling boob. A clown, running a clown show of civil servants. That becomes especially apparent every time he opens his mouth, especially in front of his bosses. Somebody needs to fire his ass. Now who could that person be?

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

kT, It would have to be someone who cared about NASA or science in general. I know of no one who answers that description in government today--nor, for that matter has there been any such person going back 5 or so administrations, and possibly back to Kennedy.

Today when you mention Vannevar Bush, people think he was W's younger brother V.

Anonymous said...

And it shows too. In fac,t it can be easily quantified like entropy - the two easiest examples I can think of are the federal deficit and the national debt, and soon I predict the number of state no longer in the union. Soon, bunnies, very soon.

Any predictions which state will be the first to bolt, and which state will be the new country of science?

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

kT: "Any predictions which state will be the first to bolt, and which state will be the new country of science?"

How about we look for loopholes in the Treaty of Appomattox instead and expel the Red States.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of new countries of science, not countries of prayer. Countries like Washington and Colorado, but there must be others. With giant reusable rockets these new countries cannot even be considered as landlocked.

In passing I note that Frank DiBello (Space Florida) injected an element of reality into the conversation at the very end of the senate hearing.

Anonymous said...

As a country (and species), we won't even make the necessary effort to divert the gigantic asteroid we can see headed straight for us (climate change), so it's not really surprising that we won't do anything to address the small objects which might pose a danger.

Though it might be very small, one can not rule out that there is nonzero probability that some of the dinosaurs might have tried to do something about the asteroid/comet had they been told it was heading their way.

That's the main difference between humans and the dinosaurs, as I see it.

With humans, that probability is zero, without a doubt.


Ed Darrell said...

CBS News report with Bolden, here: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50143210n

Ed Darrell said...

NBC at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUL_qcYXO_E

If it comes in three weeks, Charles Bolden says only a faith-based solution exists, and it won't work.

Sorry for the odd YouTube site.

Anonymous said...

Relatives were driving east across the Severn river when they saw a green light tearing across the sky the other night. The tail of the light was orange. The father said it was fireworks, the mother said a meteor, the 8-old an airplane, the 4-year old a meteor!

It was the small meteor seen from NY to Delaware.

Sorry, no pix. Unlike Russians, they did not have a video mounted in their car in case somebody jumps out in front to collect insurance.

Snow Bunny

dhogaza said...

"Sorry, no pix. Unlike Russians, they did not have a video mounted in their car in case somebody jumps out in front to collect insurance. "

That will change when deer, elk and moose get smart enough to hire lawyers ... :)