1986 : Feynman Accused NASA Of Lying For Funding

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11 Jun 1986, Page 1A – at Newspapers.com

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34 Responses to 1986 : Feynman Accused NASA Of Lying For Funding

  1. Pathway says:

    NASA lied and people died.

  2. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    Unfortunately the situation was not corrected in 1986.

    In 1995, the Galileo Jupiter probe found evidence of “strange xenon” in Jupiter, as had been predicted in a 1983 paper saying the interior of the Sun is mostly iron (Fe), not hydrogen (H). NASA hid the isotope data from Jupiter until finally forced it release it in front of a CSPAN video recording in January 1998.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave,
    When first we practice to deceive!

  3. lectrikdog says:

    “Appendix F – Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle

    by R. P. Feynman


    It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the
    probability of a failure with loss of vehicle and of human life. The
    estimates range from roughly 1 in 100 to 1 in 100,000. The higher
    figures come from the working engineers, and the very low figures from
    management. What are the causes and consequences of this lack of
    agreement? Since 1 part in 100,000 would imply that one could put a
    Shuttle up each day for 300 years expecting to lose only one, we could
    properly ask “What is the cause of management’s fantastic faith in the
    machinery?” ”
    full text: http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/51-l/docs/rogers-commission/Appendix-F.txt

    • Yep… his lively commentary appeared in Physics Today, the mag he spent 30 years unsubscribing from. Whenever someone mangles my text I remember Dick commenting on how editors changed his whiches to thats and thats to whiches. Feynmann was the only man anyone trusted to render an honest finding.

    • Didn’t read the whole thing, but spotted the last sentence: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”

  4. Dave1billion says:

    OT, but I noticed today that the DMI 30% Ice concentration map was updated today http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/old_icecover.uk.php.

    The last update was January 8 and I noticed that other commenters has posted about it so I wanted to point the update out.

    So even though the “wrong” chart isn’t being updated daily, it’s not dead yet!

    • Gail Combs says:

      WOW, I am not surprised they didn’t up date. They probably wanted to double check the numbers first.

      Lets see if it posts correctly.


      Thanks Dave.

      • Neal S says:

        The case changes that fool the wordpress caching mechanism need to be in the very first portion of URL before any single slashes. Your attempt capitalized the A in Arctic which is in a case sensitive portion of the URL such that ocean.dmi.dk does not recognize that request.

      • lectrikdog says:

        Wow is right. Looks like it’s been running above the last decade avg. since mid. Oct., and currently a month ahead of last year. Any takers on above 12MegaKm2 by mid. March? Looks very possible!

      • Ted says:

        Would I be right in assuming that the 30% concentration is a better approximation of multi year ice than the 15% concentration? Since we have considerably more multi year ice this year, my guess is that’s why the two graphs have moved so far apart.

        I can see where 15% could be more useful for shipping purposes. But for climate science, I would think something closer to 60-70% would be more useful. Slush seems far less indicative of long term trends than are legitimate sheets of ice.

        • Gail Combs says:

          That would be my take too. The 15% can be pushed around by the wind more too so it will be a noisier data set.

        • Dave1billion says:

          The 30% concentration also does a better job in putting the lie to the “thin rotten first year ice” meme that was going around a few years back.

          I’d say that both of them are decent indicators of overall ice health. For example, 2012 was a “bad” year for both.

          But given the fact the DMI chart has 10 years of data for the 30% concentration vs. 5 years of data for the 15% concentration I believe the 30% is a better data set.

          In addition, our host has consistently been hanging his hat on the 30% ice concentration chart for years so he’s been consistent.

          Since the estimates are done using white pixels in satellite images (I know that’s an oversimplification), the option to interpolate a higher level concentration of ice using this method may not be available. But it would certainly be useful for years when the ice all gets pushed together by wind.

          My biggest issue with the charts is the “baseline” 1979-2000 Mean Value data that seems to be the gold standard for these charts. To me that’s as arbitrary as using 2012 as a baseline.

        • gator69 says:

          My biggest issue with the charts is the “baseline” 1979-2000 Mean Value…

          Ah yes, the meaningless mean.

        • AndyG55 says:

          “My biggest issue with the charts is the “baseline” 1979-2000 Mean Value…”

          Actually, if you have to have a mean value, this is probably pretty close to the half way point between the trough and peak of the AMO.. its just that the alarmista tend to use it as propaganda tool rather than explain what it really means.

    • AndyG55 says:

      That is a pretty serious jump in the solid sea ice level !!!

    • Ernest Bush says:

      @Dave – the so-called right chart had not been updating either. I was beginning to think they were about to disappear from WUWT Sea Ice page along with other things now gone missing. The DMI mean temperature chart hasn’t been updated since Dec. 31.

  5. Ernest Bush says:

    Does this mean that the early astronauts who had “the right stuff” were just plain crazy to sit on top of a Saturn rocket?

    • Jason Calley says:

      I think that calling the early astronauts “just plain crazy” is an insult. They were not just plain crazy. They were a very special and bizarre sort of crazy.

      There. Glad I fixed that… 🙂

    • Adam Gallon says:

      That depends upon your thinking.
      For the modern, risk-averse, cowardly type, yes.
      For the 1960s test pilot, Korean combat veteran, who’d seen of their friends & collegues incinerated in Apollo 1, who knew & accepted that they had a significant chance of being blown to bits, no.

    • Gail Combs says:


      Those “modern, risk-averse, cowardly types” forget just how feisty those “1960s test pilot, Korean combat veteran” astronaut types can be even at the grand old age of 82.


    • RAH says:

      Are you saying you wouldn’t have Ernest? I sure as hell would have jumped at the chance.

      • gator69 says:

        That makes two of us Rah. No guts, no glory.

      • Jason Calley says:

        “I sure as hell would have jumped at the chance.”

        Jumped at riding a Saturn Five? Or jumped at punching Bart Sibrel?

        Count me in on the Saturn Five. OK, there is RAH, gator and me. That makes a crew of three. When do we pack? 🙂

        • RAH says:

          The Saturn Five was actually the most reliable multistage liquid fueled rocket to ever fly. Michael who flew Gemini 10 and was the Command Module pilot for Apollo 11 wrote a great book about his experiences in his book http://www.amazon.com/Carrying-Fire-An-Astronauts-Journeys/dp/0374531943
          I bought the cassette tape audio version years ago and it was that book that convinced me that when an author is the narrator of their own autobiography that the audio version is the way to go! They know exactly what they want to emphasis and how and that provides insights to the listener that a reader just won’t pick up in print. It adds a level of understanding that cannot be matched by the printed word. This is particularly true in the honest authors descriptions of their relationships with other people.

          All of the astronauts of Apollo 11 were exceptional people. But the only one that worked hard at making everyone know he was exceptional was Buzz Aldrin.

        • gator69 says:

          I was fortunate enough to witness the launch of Apollo 9 in person, and nobody will ever see the likes of that launch again in my lifetime. It was magical, frightening, and awe inspiring.

        • Gail Combs says:

          Jason, That leaves me to punch out Bart Sibrel… and I fight dirty.

        • Jason Calley says:

          Anyone who isn’t fighting dirty, isn’t fighting. Oh, they might be in an exhibition match, or maybe even in a formal duel — but it isn’t a fight.

        • Gail Combs says:

          Jason, my thoughts exactly.

          You only go into a fight with the aim to kill/subdue or you stay out of the fight.

  6. willys36 says:

    Makes you wonder why they are letting this data escape? I would have expected some artistic licenses regardless of the truth.

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