thumbnail of Food For Thought; #152; 
     Michael Griffin, NASA Administration "What The Hubble Space Telescope
    Teaches Us About Ourselves"
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
it is very possible so he presented so far in depth presentations on political social and cultural topics and july twenty fourth two thousand a nasa administrator michael griffin spoke before an audience at the institute for human and machine cognition in downtown pensacola his presentation was entitled what the hubble space telescope teaches us about ourselves and act thanks ken hom i don't think can should be allowed to get out of the room without my recognizing that he is i was announced today is the recipient of the game or more work for contributions in artificial intelligence ok now as a
very big deal in that field possibly the biggest deal and i'm very proud to have you on our nasa advisory council thanks for taking the time to do it for us so i am i'm often that it's often remarked on that one of my characteristics is a certain canned or that's the nice phrase want us says the other phrase as its remark on as sound as if i had a choice i don't really know how to do any differently so i hope i will be interesting tonight and that can no longer over the line to a bloodless but all of them are vast so i don't think about how i began by thinking can for inviting me to be kryptonite come this institute is a truly unique group titles interdisciplinary heiresses of the science and engineering that helped to extend mankind's reach on many frontiers including ours be an ad agency does a lot of work
for nasa and is it a mess a deal with issues surrounding mia machine interfaces literally every day whether it's flying international space station with a crew of three astronauts on board dr control and operate what is today a three quarter of a million pound space station and when it's done it will be a million pound space station controlling more than fifty earth and space science missions operating today in space toward helping if i can throw out ruins an avionics for future aircraft were building the next generation of space vehicles that we're working on today that will take americans and our partners back to the moon and then later on gold even deeper into our solar system to mars mission we have to understand the conditions that our machines will face and how they will behave under those conditions because mission success and
indeed the lives of our astronauts depend upon our machines and the technical act women of the scientists and engineers who develop and operate them i thought it was appropriate tonight to speak it appropriate to speak tonight about the hubble space telescope for that one of the greatest machines that nasa or anyone else has ever built and about our relationship with that the shame and what it has taught us and taught me about our universe and more borrowing ourselves now this coming october astronauts onboard special lenses will rendezvous with how to repair and upgrade it for the first time in its nearly two decades of service i think you all know that it's hard to read a paper without knowing that we are going to do that it was somewhat controversy are now so when i came on board and i settled that controversy lately even though it'll be better than ever
it will be better in fact than anyone ever imagined that it might be back when i was working on the hubble project twenty five years ago we never imagined that it would be what it is today or did is going to be after this the sourcing mission the story of the scientific and engineering marvel is one of a bold vision vision and imagination and actually audacious risk taking but it's also a story of perseverance and ingenuity when as sometimes happens the risks that you take on not always successfully negotiated that is a story that transcends science but hubble images on display today in art museums or in homes where most scientists lives but we all know that the images are far more than just a bunch of pretty pictures all has observed the birth and death of stars not unlike our own solar system it has shown the collision of the comet shoemaker levy nine with the planet jupiter not unlike the asteroid collision sixty
five million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs which then roam the earth it is peer through it may not hold the night sky deep into the early universe finding thousands of galaxies where our own eyes would only see a patch of darkness this out the galaxies in our universe are accelerating away from each other at a rate faster than astrophysicist including edwin hubble ever predicted allowing new insights into the birth an eventual fate of our universe or raising new mysteries about dark matter and dark energy constituents of the universe that in all humility astrophysicist today must admit that we barely understand kabul has become a cultural icon while at the same time remaining an instrument of fundamental scientific discovery is unique in human history in its ability to occupy a place of prominence in those art museums and scientific journals because of the hubble space
telescope that's march april nineteen ninety would not have caused any one to envision this outcome in the novel's first images one unaccountably boring an analysis of its articles system revealed that the two point three mike on terror had been introduced in the grinding of its two point four meter primary mirror now the width of an average human hair is about at my clients so he was almost unimaginably small but as many of you in this audience wonder stand because you're and professional backgrounds it's a huge error in terms of the optical wavelengths than a telescope must manipulate if it is to function at all so this mistake was devastating for the astronomical community was equally devastating the masses credibility nasa was the brunt of jokes on late night talk shows with the hubble being compared to the titanic in internet so
i see that most of your old enough as i remembered it so that said and hampton i remarked once in a previous speech that we in the space business live by a creative excellence or die without it that has happened and when the bubble we faced a situation where the smaller left unchecked call into question our ability to live by that creed and jokes work or leveling charges that nasa no longer had the right stuff and tom wolfe's elegant and memorable phrase plus it's unfairly denigrate still many dedicated engineers and scientists and technicians who work late into the night to maintain a high standard of almost all our endeavors even the slightest error on such a highly visible project calls into question what happened and above all else who is to blame so as on the side for a moment maybe this institute of human cognition human machine cognition should status especially human trait the
tendency to kick those who are now for me it always galls the mine president theodore roosevelt's great speech citizenship in a public should do what with its famous excerpt about the man in the arena c of those offering criticism of the hubble mistake we're capable of understanding its nature of origin or indeed anything else of how the hubble was designed for the exacting tolerances to which it had to be built one of the tradeoffs the engineers face when deciding how to allocate scarce resources to multiple competing concerns as someone who has served on numerous billboards and this had the lead teams out of despair and i can only say the criticism from those who are both inept and uninvolved serves no useful function at aberdeen and it was bought at an even make us feel worse about ourselves than we already
do when we fail but it does seem to be a constant companion a bowl endeavors is the dark side of human progress a long career in the space business with way too many opportunities to observe his behavior has caused me to come to the belief that there is or they should be such a thing as earning the right to hold an opinion but i digress yeah in the aftermath of the hubble debacle some washington policymakers call for an end to mass all together we don't cast aside human frailty when we venture into space and wiser heads understood that reaching for the unknown requires the fortitude to deal with adversity as president john kennedy won the congress and our nation in may of nineteen sixty one when with fifteen minutes of human space flight to a quote he set forth a challenge to go to the moon and said if we're to go only halfway a recent reduce our sites in the face of
difficulty in my judgment it would be better not to go at all so most scientists and engineers set their sights on fixing the telescope the first step was to characterize precisely observe during the primary mirror and incorrect craft a corrective lens for the aberration created for servicing mission the hubble trained intensively for one of the most complex shuttle missions ever undertaken involving five space walks over a hundred specialized tools to correct the optics are also installing new solar arrays gyroscopes and other electrical components they also upgraded the telescope with a new wife jill planetary camera that you all know today that this partial mission to service the hubble as well as the three which followed were huge successes saturday doubled that was a less with the splendor of our universe but during those grim years between nineteen nineteen ninety three this awe inspiring success was far from certain and
it didn't know the core strength of the nasa team when the chips are down you might've been against us and you would've lost and that is what to me the most meaningful lesson from the hubble space telescope has more to do with our human nature that with the other secrets of the universe that is in the face of adversity we must resolve to persevere and i know because i see it every day than nasa still has the right stuff so i think i should take a moment to acknowledge those who have been who will risk their lives to make the hubble space telescope such a success every astronaut i know who have gobbled mission and nine eleven has a special place in his own heart that she and they believe it to be a part of something greater than themselves something that so it's the risk of their lives is worth the promise of unlocking the secrets of our universe future generations dave look
at the whole program senior scientist and a former called coworker of mine once said we're privileged to be the first generation of homo sapiens together to gain a clearer indeed view of the visible you know it's and what we see out there is staggering in its beauty is awesome in its scale and shocking in the way that is upended our preconceived notions about how nature works you don't have to be a scientist to grasp at any thinking person who's come in contact with hubble images and other discoveries seems to find exhilaration in the notion that our place in the grand scheme of things is now better defined them and all pryor human history davis so it and yet his common makes a great purpose to an observation on our enemy you might say but the science is not everything we do at nasa mission to be and ali advancement of science as a fundamental importance of nasa and scientific discovery has a key role in human space flight it is not the most
compelling reason to do it i'd like to take a little time to explain why i believe has to be so because numerous critics have called into question the cost and risk of journeys in the space to the moon mars near earth asteroids or the construction the international space station which were using as a tall corn out a sustained such journeys so i think i brought some food for thought free tonight some of you would disagree with me and the sport may be a worthwhile debate i never learned anything by talking to people who agree with me to the masses in emissions of the hubble space telescope a qualitatively different former human space defenses fundamental and it's important what other efforts may not seem today to be is no war with laos service a novel by on a long run more important to the future of the human race and i try and explain why believe this is so to survive off planet in a different
environment having different natural resources and those who have come to understand take for granted without the ability to drive to the nearest supermarket or doctor's office has a qualitatively different experience than a brief foray into lower earth orbit not materialize at but nasa and our international partners fifteen other nations have maintained a permanent human football and space on board the international space station since october of two thousand the hard lessons of living and working in outer space twenty four seven three sixty five a much different than those of an intense two week campaign to serve as a scientific instrument like the hubble or to deploy a mission to jupiter like galileo or because and get lower them awake so the toy or to conduct other research has as has been done on on many individual shuttle missions so when we began our hoping steps back to the moon in the next decade our journey to mars and twenty or twenty five years we will need to know what we must bring awareness but also how we might live
off the land with resources available to us when we arrive and after we test the hypothesis that we can survive on other worlds we then need to determine whether such outposts can become economically viable meaning is there anything to do their which is worth the investment to do it germany today was certain the benefit of proof that the answer is of course yes while others believe that the answer is of course now in my own opinion no one can get today can know the answer the answer can be found only by experiment so in that sense the purpose of today's human space flight program is to adopt such experiments to explore and develop options unveiled possibilities for future generations dallas' experiment will be conducted in space over the course of the coming centuries but people from ours only the language culture and motives of the experimenters remain to be ditto and i hope that this experiment will always find americans in company with our international partners and allies as
first among equals on the frontier of their time the experiment will not be the similar to those conducted by our ancestors far removed in space in time when they left east africa looking for an easier existence somewhere else bobby dissimilar to that conducted by more immediate ancestors just a few centuries ago when they begin to explore and so what europeans was the new world in that context i might note that it required a long term investment of kingdoms government's commercial industry and private citizens for many generations before i think it could honestly be said that the new world provided a positive return on investment for society at large on a smaller scale or experiments in space will not be distorted that conducted by thomas jefferson when he risked impeachment to consummate the louisiana purchase and then sought congressional financing marvelous chutzpah became the most important addition
two hundred years ago and by the way lewis and clark overran their budget lost a considerable amount of their equipment fell so far behind schedule but they were given up for dead and failed to achieve their primary goal which was to find a suitable water up from the headwaters of the missouri river to the pacific ocean now does anybody here think that their effort was wasted venturing into space a similarly an experiment but one family was conducting for several reasons first i strongly believe that there will be near term benefits to science technology economics and national security as we begin to incorporate the solar system into our spirit influence as science advisor john marburger frame the issue a few years ago in a speech that i particularly liked now i don't believe i need to do well for this audience upon the benefits to human society of scientific advances us a few words were on the verge of developing a new paradigm a new view of how the universe is constructed the last time a century
ago that such an experience was forced upon us was accomplished through the work of albert einstein in his elucidation of relativity quantum mechanics today these disciplines underpin much of modern technology and they form the backdrop of physics against which new ideas are interpreted overly the implications of forming new series to embrace the experimental finding the ninety six percent of the mass energy of our universe is comprised of dark energy and dark matter things we don't even pretend understand everything you can see and feel around jewish four percent of war exists and so a few years ago we didn't know anything about ninety six percent regarding technology what is the benefit to a society which lawrence how to do what no one else has ever done no human activity is more demanding across a broader range of disciplines and space exploration nor is there any which produces greater returns from its mastery two generations or more ago and
what i consider to be the best speech he ever gave president kennedy said quote we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do other things not because they are easy but because they are hard because that will serve to organize and measure the rest of our energies in skills and illinois now as a nation we're still reaping the benefits of the apollo investment but they're coming to a man america is no longer supreme in the world marketplace not even an aerospace it is time to move the goal posts to define some new things and to move outward again for precisely the reasons president kennedy articulated so long ago but i also believe that a vigorous settles civil space program offers collateral benefits to national security and have spoken of this in the past is usually a list of it somehow a surprise but i think those were surprised to now a view of national security for the last century the united states has been a
world power even if at times we didn't aspire to it or even recognize it as such we have assumed certain responsibilities for leadership on the world stage in that capacity it is inevitable that we have been and will again be called upon to make decisions and take actions that displeased other nations in societies we can't please everyone and we can't recover more fares so that's true it is equally true that we cannot prosper if every hand is against us if we must do hard things it behooves us also to undertake activities which easily track thousand partners things which bind others to us in the world community and no activity has shown itself to be of greater interest greater inherent interest and excitement to others than the exploration and development of the space frontier and so i ask concerning national security what is the value of being a nation a society which leads the world in endeavor which excites all
others one in which every nation that can do so seeks to partner with us these are some of the specific benefits icy accruing to the nation which leaves an exploration of space but also believe in the long term it will be important for the survival of the human race to inhabit planets other the nearest you'll be in our interest to develop the technical capabilities to avoid the many cosmic collisions that we have now documented in the geological record the comet shoemaker levy nine which took jeffrey refused that consisted of at least twenty one december five months having diameter is up to two kilometers we even one such collusion with yours would be devastating and it doesn't have to be a dinosaur killer an impact like the ten best event of nineteen oh eight could destroy the culture on economic fabric of a nation if it were to land in a populated area instead of the siberian wilderness so i believe that the long term survival scientific discovery economic benefit and recognize leadership in great endeavor is
provide a worthwhile rationale for sustaining our nation's human space for efforts this in our endeavors in robotic science and space science at work in advance their marks a purchased with an investment in nasa of six tenths of one percent of the federal budget six tenths of a percent about fifteen cents a day i spend more than that today on bubble gum actually end up fifty cents in a bubble gum machines when i was refueling my airplane on the way down here so that was several days worth of my contribution to nasa now if any of you happen to be average americans this figure will surprise you because polls reveal that the fifty percent how american the average american believes that nasa receives over twenty four percent of the federal budget means that would be comparable to the department of defense i am so just so you know now my view is that our efforts in human space flight are in actuality far more meaningful than the flags and
footprints rationale with which some critics of human space flight like to denigrate the apollo program for future voyages to the moon mars in my new survival and leadership and great enterprises and economic benefit of real and accept the reasons why humans should continue to explore space beyond a robotic spacecraft can achieve throughout mankind's time on this world we gazed up at the night sky and attempted to make sense of the stars and planets and comets asteroids speculating about what it all might mean we are lucky enough to be the first generation to see the universe with a clarity that bubble offers firmly believe that we need believe that we also meet a journey beyond this report on the last name of the poem the salons of the earth in order to see the universe without eyes and words of a poet ts eliot only those who risked going too far can possibly find out
how four one can go i believe that expanding the range and scope of human action is ago fully as noble as that of scientific discovery i also think that in our hearts we know these things we know that space is the frontier of tomorrow and that the frontier can only be ours with boots on the ground we know from even the most casual reading of history that nations that shrink from the frontiers of their time shrinking also in their influence on the world stage we know these things and yet we also see that americans today do not feel the urgency for preeminence on the space frontier that we felt in the fifties and sixties sometimes i wonder if we're get tired or distracted from other urgent crises to recognize what their preeminence means for america and so emma minute of edgar allan poe's doubt that insurgent eldorado and who is the teacher asks a pro gun show where it might be over the mounds of the moon down the valley of the
shadow side only ride the shade replied if you seek to eldorado sometimes there's just no rest for the weary yeah so my name is jack then i spent ten years of my life working on the hubble for latinas whose and space company suggested teaching giving and they've you know entrepreneurs says or is making decisions about keeping it alive he added i you know my aunt my predecessor made the decision he made in that time period right after the loss of columbia and i think it was very understandable why that decision was taken as it was and i i was very clear at the time that we announced that we would do a double servicing mission that
it had taken us eighteen months of hard work to figure out a way to be certain that we could do it without unduly risking another astronaut crew because in the hubble are but they don't have the opportunity to go to the station and something goes wrong with the show and so it it we worked very hard to have to remove some risk so well i can understand that the why the prior decision was was done i am glad that that we pushed we push hard on a solo perseverance again sir have you love you hear a lot in general in government about the demographics of so many people if you know my say so you know your age who might be on some time are leaving nasa is there a out of your view troops and you were on their twenties thirties and forties who have the same i'll same of caution that you had at that
point well i think the thing you want to do is is i recognize that to the mcgregor jon is making the point that the demographics of the aerospace industry because of the apollo and defense buildup and in the sixties fifties sixties early seventies i am our goal our young people under the business background and then there are we know space went through the doldrums in the seventies and he and then it came back up again and so we have a kind of a classic double alcove of a bit we have of the number of young people and the number of all people in our no and so within the next five or six years a very large number of us will be retiring from the space business it's a challenge and an opportunity to challenge is that that an awful lot of what makes things work can be written down in books and i wrote a book i know that you can write it all down in a book
and so that is the kind of war which is passed on from you know master to apprentice i'm so when the older folks retire the opportunity to pass that knowledge on this is lost and so we need to make sure we do the best job of the week and we can while we can't at the same time i mean all of the kids coming out of school today i mean they come out now and stuff that you know i know i haven't yet mind or if i knew it took me years to get to it and that's that's what we call progress i mean we want that to be the case i don't want to be able to make any other state but then the fact that i mean all of the young kids coming out of school today guy i was coming up to longer to somebody that you know i did one of the only phd theses and what we call computational fluid dynamics and fifteen years later i have signed a centrally that problem is our problem
which is embarrassing except for the fact that if you look at it the right way and that's the kind of thing you want to be able say came true that something that was once at the state of the art is now mr paul and so as we were on sale when we lose a lot of older folks from space business will lose a lot of knowledge but will also gain an opportunity to bring a lot of bright young kids on and to actually when i talked to the city's young men and women are just gung ho so i i'm thrilled with the opportunity to get a great future ahead of us as long as we do good things to serve thank you to come in a bicycle welcomed about four months ago bandstand released this documentary concerning expelled no intelligence allowed andy show in a remarkable fashion the disdain contempt many remarkably brilliant scientists had oregano and designing the
mission of gotten stuck now that we know that ninety six percent of the university's matters of raw energy which could be got our source do you think there's a possibility that what we're dealing with future space exploration teacher academic event will make science more than friendly or spirit friendly i don't know so i know i know i mean i just don't know i know many scientists know many scientists who are deeply religious many engineers were deeply religious and i know many others who are not and you know whenever i get these kinds of questions the topics and they're deeply engaging but the thing that i draw from it is i'm glad we live in a place where people are entitled to have different opinions on things like that and not there were with one another over it because i don't think any of the snow's cancer or at least i'm sure i don't know the answer but i
think it fixed this year well thanks for coming to that credo of naval aviation as i call sort of a noun an air force fighter pilot my question for you is i'm concerned about our reliance on gps and the vulnerability of that system to the world we live in now it's a very soft target and we become more and more dependent on that and there's relatively no defense for it we are dependent on a gps global global satellite navigation has become a public utility yeah i mean it has eight people expect to be able to find their way and just as they expect to be a little plant a power cord and a wall socket get power out of the arm and you're right it's vulnerable arm you know i've done all the time and in defense space and then i may do it again but
right now i'm in the civil space program and masses not involved in those issues and i i really need to keep a boundary between defense space and civil space so that i'm sort of staying in my own swung line and and so either other than agreeing with your point that we really need gps in today's world and that it is it is obviously a target if somebody wants to make it a target i know i should probably just up their tanks out another incarnation of this into a class in pensacola high school like it is and this summer i've visited the air force research laboratory start by article rain it turns out air force base and i found that when i was doing defense is on
the hubble telescope as nate said like that is that turbulence adventures as wondering if you could tell me a little bit more about that atmosphere tournaments where we're going or correcting for withdrawal iraq war ii if banks you might get more into than you wanted the hubble and even the hubble space telescope was an idea surfaced by john rockwell back in the late nineteen forties or actually around the time i was born because once it became pot once it became clear that it was going to be possible to put orbiting satellites up above the earth's atmosphere
and the development by germany in world war two of the two rocket caused knowledgeable people to realize that was something that would only be a few years away from people started speculating on what they could do with such a capability and one and astronomers of course at that time and even today we're huge like hampered by the earth's atmosphere first of all it absorbs a number of wavelengths of light you can see the sea to the atmosphere an infrared you can see through them the ultraviolet you can see through it in certain microwave regions which interview with with war which was which absorb of water vapor so the earth's atmosphere is quote transparent it's transparent to our eyes because our eyes are adapted to be able to see through see in the light that gets through the atmosphere but it's it's not very transparent and even where it is transparent it has what are called turbulent and the senate and those turbulent eighties just like the the heat waves rising from a hot sidewalk and when you were alone when you look through it it distorts the view behind it
so that messes things up for astronomers so from the time they began thinking about satellites that began thinking about the advantages that would accrue to putting a telescope biden on the moon or in orbit i am for that vision was finally realize when the hubble was put up an arm and it because it's above the atmosphere it gets above the atmosphere turbulence allows us to see deep in space now the downside is that it's really hard to put big things up in space than it is rocket science actually you know and so the hubble is not the biggest telescope by far that's ever been put together an e mail that hale telescope out california was put together in the late forties and early fifties is is twice as big but its the biggest telescope people could put up with the technology we had at the time and it it does allow us to see quite deep into the universe so there are
tradeoffs now in you know more recent years as as back when i was a strategic defense initiative which created the uniform of the stuff up to orange people have work out technical methods for collecting for the atmosphere aberration with with very precise lasers and things like that and what we call the foreman the mirrors it's possible and i say a shining a laser at all through the year and then detecting the laser energy which backs gathers from the upper atmosphere to measure the aberrations because you know you something up a perfectly pure laser beam in what you get back is cried so you can measure the cried anchor and corrected now the second part of that is how you corrected was going to correct it you have to be able to alter the telescope's figure the mirror above the figure of the telescope mirror to just exactly compensate for the
atmospheric distortions and you have to do that very very very quickly however today our electronics are processing capability with computers and our ability to put together lots of tiny actuators on the backs of our mayors and push or pull them in time with the aberrations which are being measured and and the corrections computed allows us to make a very large mirrors or more segments of mirrors we are we correct for the atmospheric aberration and then we can get the effect of one large mirror that's outside the atmosphere so it is becoming possible to build telescopes on the ground with her which are both large and not badly affected by atmospheric turbulence however nothing salts the problem of water vapor lack of transparency in blanks and also it'll all time when the hubble took the picture that i talk about that what we call the hubble deep field looking through a particular spot a new constellation for next winter just don't happen to be
a nearby stores the hubble dwelt on that for almost two weeks of observing time one orbit at a time building up to weeks of observing time he can do that on the ground i mean once the earth rotate out of that unity only really knowing that you can look up through the same partisan atmosphere and gather like so there will always be a place for ground based telescopes and for the foreseeable future there will always be a place for space based telescopes because they do different things i'm sure that's way more into than you know i mean i can give you more mercy another question let's go to the bathroom we haven't done any one the back so there's a gentleman there and then the lady in poker next question for you mentioned earlier the migration to
the new world and it's really great metaphor for the move to space the thing really fueled the migration to the new world was commerce and the ability of industry and commercial properties to develop some of the new world so my question is just from your experience what do you see being to like him better term the commercial hook the thing which is to make people say ok this visit as as grocers like is that there's money to be made in space where we see that happening well i'd say i don't know that's the point on and neither did our ancestors did centuries ago know when they came here let me remind you of a couple of love interesting facts that we study when we're kids in schools or forget the first cash crop to come out of the new world was tobacco from virginia now
raise your hand if you think that tobacco has been the most important part to come out of the new world it's been so i don't think i don't think that echoes the most important part to come out of the new world i am so we don't know ahead of time now make another point when you if you if you read in numbers and i believe in steven ambrose is on top and courage the story goes in our expedition in the back you can read jefferson's letter to meriwether lewis and william clark where he made the point that i made in the speech that one of their their primary objective was to find a water route to the pacific for the purpose of enabling the free trade which was huge trade in beaver pelts we're making forty was huge now jefferson was as smart a president as we will ever have as smart a world leader as
there has ever been and the country owes an enormous amount to jefferson's leadership from the declaration of independence and an and onward so this incredibly smart man couldn't see past the free trade i don't think i'm smarter than he was and i don't think any of us are so so i retreat to the line i used in my speech our job is to push the frontier and develop options so that just as we are the beneficiary of the options created by generations past future generations will be the benefit of the options weekly a great for them he would be ok if i reworked i think i might have asked the question improperly are certainly there's no way to know what will be the benefit of going to space or what'll what what benefits we may read from it i guess for women to say is are you just being in shooters are you seeing what is currently the quote unquote fur trade the thing that we think were going after that's when i really mean with
the thing we think we're the things we think were going after now our scientific knowledge ok that some of which can really only easily be enabled by human beings on site as well as again creating the technology and the capability to go where no one has gone before to create the options for for being naughty that's where we're purchasing now it's it's really we're i needed again i need to draw a better analogy i do an analogy to the western european in their wages to a discovery of the new world but that's not the right analogy where we are in the space business is more analogous to where we were when the first western europeans set sail on the ocean the vikings and eighty one thousand were in the first fifty years of the space business know the great voyages of discovery occurred five and six
centuries later we're not there you know where we're in you know writing long ships leave what today's scandinavia and some of them come back yes ma'am thank you for coming to our community and we answer a lot of questions for me about some of the behaviors that i see here and especially like some of our trash has been thrown on the side of the road mirrors and so i guess my question is when these behaviors have been a philosophical sense and insofar as we move into artificial intelligence vs human behavior where are we going to draw the line between inhumanity related artificial intelligence and try to rein that in humanity in a nap excuse it without a seatbelt for artificial intelligence
well ma'am i mean i just don't have the background at your question and that's about it just a philosophical statement a question and have you read the essay by garrett hardin living in a lifeboat no ma'am i am not a bit it's worth reading yes sir ok well what is the future of nasa in terms of short term funding missions planned to visit the space station and when that program runs out what will be the status of the space station international space station is in a rabbit who's in iran it has to be conflict we have ten more shuttle missions to complete the backbone of the workers behind us but we have ten more missions to finish constructing the station
and two i'll say that they will be done by the year twenty ten at the end of the year will retire the show and then we are now i'm in the business of crafting a replacement for the show in terms of the ability to put people and cargo into orbit those new systems because of those restrictions will be available until around twenty fifteen so for a period of forming after five years we will be purchasing crew transport from russia will be purchasing seeds also use from russia and we will be our international partners europe and japan though the program a certain amount of cargo transport they will they will meet their obligations on that i'm certain they're very good engineers and we will be purchasing some cargo transport oil flowing from us firms there's a young a proposal out on the street as
we say right now for a us and other farms to also bids on cargo transport so crew from russia cargo from our partners and cargo from us commercial suppliers we believe i'm tempted to say we hope but hope is not a management tool we believe that that that by pre positioning important spirits on the station with a shallow before the shuttle retires that we can make it through that five year period with with that strategy it's not a strategy that anybody thinks is prettier than anyone likes but we just don't receive money too in parallel with the flying out of the show also develop robustly of replacement system we would need a lot of funding the one we don't have it so there will be a gap in in
us there will be a gap in us access to space for for forty five years the first to see folks in ireland and so that there's a minimum wage there over on the side of the room to be different politicians and i guess so procedures we are returning to the moment will be in the next decade sometimes people say why does it take so long treated in eight years the first time take much more than eight years the second time just a really can start of the station has done for the reasons of funding that i
just addressed with this gentleman's question i mean we're doing things in series that were done in an older polly years and that just takes more time with regard to them and done that we're not really will return to the elevator here's an analogy that i use a lot human beings first made it to the south pole in nineteen twelve norwegians are actually made it first then than a word you know and an airplane mail sometime in the nineteen thirties and that was interesting but it wasn't very sustainable and then nobody went again until the nineteen fifties and went in nineteen fifties it was part of the international geophysical you're not efforts and people went back to antarctica for scientific purposes in and they want to stay and the antarctic now has been continuously occupied on multinational basis for fifty years and then the outpost in
antarctica that started with kwanzaa cuts of ground in and now they really have the status of small towns and people you know scientists and engineers and many cases will winter over they live there for extended to his ability to be doing that at the end for over thirteen years was a smaller outpost and it will be capable of being permanently manned and i think it will grow from there so it's not been there done that and i believe that such outpost will be sustained as long as it returns scientific value for the money to come even more than that are people so we've been to the moon we didn't find anything all that interesting i mean it i disagree with that right now because i found it to be quite interesting but i i get a particular chirp a lot about luck our total the entire ecosystem once the mammoths by strong people who have been there and extortions that conducted their time on target was less than a man on the
moon has a surface area the size of africa so you're going to the size of africa and you have the one man you know knowledgeable enough to know forever that it's not interesting as i work i'm not that smart so so i don't think been there and done that applies at all now many people say mars is much more interesting than the loan even if the moon is interesting let's go there will actually i realize it's fantastically interesting remark directly today you need to be able to convince yourself you can do the following experiment in to be able to convince yourself that you can put a crew in a submarine well that shirt and send them on a three year voyage around the world and tell him not to come back anytime sooner than three years on top of the opposite that was not how that works out how long we can do that today or even though
the submarine final years i'm three years into a mars voyage we need to know that when a crew opens a container of food it will still be food and not garbage we need to know that the machinery will still work that humans can still work in the environment and there's an awful lot about living and working in space that we just don't know and so the more listings on the space station on the surface of the murmuring three days from home and not three years from home and so i would say even if somebody's i don't agree but even if somebody finds them and to be in an interesting place at the very least it's an engineering test bed for will and i have to go to mars it's time for general questions to simon yeah because they are any path to get funding from outside sources say outside industries
wal mart mcdonalds these missions and beyond the activities in rio in our system can mean europeans and japanese women in our system activities the united states government are requested by the president and approved or not by the congress and they come from the public treasury and if there are donations to the public treasury they go to the treasury it's very hard for private citizens or the company's corporate citizens to donate money to specific government activities because the constitution and powers and the congress as the final arbiter of what it is that the us government does it will look a lot to you when you see if you you know google is in check it will look a lot to
you were calling at orion and there were a lot you like an apollo spacecraft didn't notice the fact that it's more than twice as big inside him and carries six people instead of three m and some things like that it looks a lot like an apollo spacecraft because it must be able to go to the moon and return and then later must be able to be a crew entry vehicle for coming home from mars and when you're entering the atmosphere at high speed the only certain shapes that will work when wings don't cut it with the maternal technology week that we possess today as human beings so it really counted needs to look like a boy body and you know a number of different shapes could work at the apollo spacecraft shape was one of those and we had a tremendous amount of data available on air and i'm not one who believes in reinventing the wheel unnecessarily so we adopted the apollo shape of the nineteen sixties and made a bigger
so it could carry more staff but is a lot like that well the second stage will be liquid fuel but the first stage will be actually a shovel solid rocket booster which show me the chills all rocket booster is today the most reliable piece of space transportation hardware in the world with them now over were approaching two hundred successful use is in a loan with no failures and have a solid rocket boosters of course have a checkered checkered history because on the twenty fifth flight of the space shuttle one of those was so underwent a fear that that cost us the challenger crew and seven astronauts that was a tough day the united states government has invested now seven lives and many billions of dollars and making that particular piece of hardware very reliable
Food For Thought
Episode Number
Michael Griffin, NASA Administration "What The Hubble Space Telescope Teaches Us About Ourselves"
Producing Organization
Contributing Organization
WSRE (Pensacola, Florida)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip-822a8b11e3c).
Excerpts from a lecture by NASA administrator Michael Griffin entitled "What The Hubble Space Telescope Teaches Us About Ourselves."
A monthly program exploring thought-provoking topics, featuring select speakers, civic presentations, and enlightening events throughout Northwest Florida.
Asset type
Licensed under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal License ("no rights reserved").
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producing Organization: WSRE
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: cpb-aacip-c78fe9db73b (Filename)
Format: Betacam: SP
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Food For Thought; #152; Michael Griffin, NASA Administration "What The Hubble Space Telescope Teaches Us About Ourselves" ,” 2008-08-08, WSRE, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 23, 2021,
MLA: “Food For Thought; #152; Michael Griffin, NASA Administration "What The Hubble Space Telescope Teaches Us About Ourselves" .” 2008-08-08. WSRE, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 23, 2021. <>.
APA: Food For Thought; #152; Michael Griffin, NASA Administration "What The Hubble Space Telescope Teaches Us About Ourselves" . Boston, MA: WSRE, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from