Monday, March 8, 2021

NASA and '60 Minutes' on women in NASA for International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day! This year, I'm celebrating women in space and particularly women working for NASA. Watch NASA's Women of NASA Drive Exploration and Discovery to see some of the unsung heroines working for the U.S. aerospace agency.

March is Women's History Month. Women at NASA contribute every day to the success of our current missions and pave the way for future generations to reach for the stars.
NASA focused on the women working for the agency who usually don't make the news, although I have seen Farah Alibay before. CBS's "60 Minutes" looked at the women in NASA's leadership last night in NASA's women sending America back to the moon.

Nearly a half-century after the last Apollo astronaut stepped foot on the moon, NASA is working to send its first woman to the lunar surface. Bill Whitaker reports.
In addition to seeing the positive portrayals of the women who have been and are now leading NASA, I learned one piece of policy news that I liked and was reminded of another I consider a necessary evil. First, I'm glad that Joe Biden's Administration publicly supports the continuation of the Trump Administration's plans for space exploration. As I wrote five years ago and repeated the next year, "space policy is the one area where Trump might actually be good for the country" and "Trump's plan is actually not a bad idea." I was worried that the Biden Administration would dump the one Trump policy I supported along with all the ones I couldn't stand. I'm relieved that they didn't.

Second, Lori Garver's critique of the Space Launch System (SLS) as the "Senate Launch System" is one I've read before but haven't seen or heard in years. I agree with her that it would probably be cheaper and more efficient to use SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, but the U.S. Congress serves its constituents, us citizens, and efficiency isn't the only value. I suspect that without using the SLS as a jobs program, Congress would not appropriate the money for Orion or Artemis. As I wrote, a necessary evil.

I plan on posting another entry celebrating Women's History Month tomorrow from Trevor Noah and "The Daily Show." Stay tuned. In the meantime, I'm signing off today's post with a final International Women's Day wish for my readers.

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