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NASA Abandons Search For Intelligent Life On Earth.

planetary nebula NGC 2392 (“Eskimo Nebula”) and spiral galaxies NGC 4567 and NGC 4568, (“Siamese Twins Galaxy”)

With a massive budget that is fraught with a lack of oversight, the inability to actually explore space and to actually go somewhere, and being stomped by a private contractor in developing new rocket and delivery systems, NASA has finally discovered something it can handle: the nicknames of galaxies and nebulas.

No more with the planetary nebula NGC 2392 being referred to as the “Eskimo Nebula” because the outer disk surrounding the nebula, composed of materials still being cast off from its core, resembles the fur-lined hood of a parka. Nope. No more shall the nickname of pair of spiral galaxies that were previously dubbed the Siamese Twins Galaxy because they orbit around each other in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster be used.

According to NASA:

NASA to Reexamine Nicknames for Cosmic Objects

Distant cosmic objects such as planets, galaxies, and nebulae are sometimes referred to by the scientific community with unofficial nicknames. As the scientific community works to identify and address systemic discrimination and inequality in all aspects of the field, it has become clear that certain cosmic nicknames are not only insensitive, but can be actively harmful. NASA is examining its use of unofficial terminology for cosmic objects as part of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As an initial step, NASA will no longer refer to planetary nebula NGC 2392, the glowing remains of a Sun-like star that is blowing off its outer layers at the end of its life, as the “Eskimo Nebula.” “Eskimo” is widely viewed as a colonial term with a racist history, imposed on the indigenous people of Arctic regions. Most official documents have moved away from its use. NASA will also no longer use the term “Siamese Twins Galaxy” to refer to NGC 4567 and NGC 4568, a pair of spiral galaxies found in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster. Moving forward, NASA will use only the official, International Astronomical Union designations in cases where nicknames are inappropriate.

“I support our ongoing reevaluation of the names by which we refer to astronomical objects,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at Headquarters, Washington. “Our goal is that all names are aligned with our values of diversity and inclusion, and we’ll proactively work with the scientific community to help ensure that. Science is for everyone, and every facet of our work needs to reflect that value.”

Nicknames are often more approachable and public-friendly than official names for cosmic objects, such as Barnard 33, whose nickname “the Horsehead Nebula” invokes its appearance. But often seemingly innocuous nicknames can be harmful and detract from the science.

We’re pretty sure that the Eskimo Nebula, which is 5000 light years away from the earth doesn’t care what we call it. Furthermore, any scientist who would say “I’m not going to do any research on the Eskimo Nebula because the nickname it offensive” needs to be shown the door.

Of course, the twitter world was abuzz with some support, but mostly ridicule for the announcement.

All of this mess comes out of the the NASA Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.

Clearly NASA has abandoned the search for intelligence in its own organization in saying that the nickname of a nebula, or galaxies need to be changed because they affect “science.”



2 Responses to “NASA Abandons Search For Intelligent Life On Earth.”

  1. Percy says:

    While I agree that it’s sad that NASA appears to be joining the politically correct lefty woke culture I take issue with your first paragraph which seems to imply that a private contractor has stomped NASA In the space launch business. NASA has never designed, built, or launched anything on their own, that has always been done by private contractors and still is. What has changed is how much government oversight these private contractors each receive. The idea of privatization does not mean they are footing the bill, only that they receiving less government oversight. As you might suspect it’s cheaper without all the extra oversight and a leaner organization as Space Ex is showing us now, but this program is still heavily subsidized by public dollars.

    So sad when science gets drawn into the politically correct arena but that’s where we are headed if we don’t start electing leaders who can make good decisions based on facts and not just playing politics.

    • AAfterwit says:

      Percy,

      Thanks for the comment.

      NASA has never designed, built, or launched anything on their own, that has always been done by private contractors and still is.

      That is correct as far as it goes.

      However, NASA has always supplied the specifications for everything.

      So when the Orion spacecraft had an original specification that was not feasible, unlike a regular company, NASA throws more money at the issue. The same has been true of the James Webb telescope. Originally planned to cost roughly $1 billion dollars with total launch costs to be around $4 billion, the costs are now over $10 billion. The shuttle was well known to be a “camel” which is a horse designed by committee. Those designs and specs were developed by NASA.

      NASA has always been political and it should not be. LBJ would not sign off on the needed space headquarters unless they were located in Texas. Instead of consolidating everything, NASA was spread out and therefore less efficient because of political decisions and payoffs.

      Arguably the greatest disaster in the US Space program (Challenger) was because of NASA interference and the insistence that the launch take place in spite of the engineers who built the SRB’s telling NASA the o-rings may fail because of low temperatures.

      NASA does a lot of good things, but it needs to focus on science, costs and efficiency rather than social issues.

      “As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind – every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.”
      ― John Glenn

      Thanks again.

      A. Afterwit.

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