วันเสาร์, สิงหาคม 13, 2022
หน้าแรกScience & EnvironmentJames Webb Space Telescope: NASA to Share Initially Established of Photographs

James Webb Space Telescope: NASA to Share Initially Established of Photographs

Credit…Scan by Mike Acs

In 2002, Sean O’Keefe, then the NASA administrator, introduced that the agency’s following telescope would be named for James Webb, who led NASA through the 1960s, when it was gearing up to land people on the moon. He was a staunch winner of room science.

Some astronomers were being upset that it would not be named for an astronomer, whilst other individuals objected on extra really serious grounds, specifically that Mr. Webb bore some responsibility for an occasion all through the Truman administration acknowledged as the Lavender Scare that resulted in the purging of homosexual and lesbian workers from the State Office. At the time, Mr. Webb had been the below secretary of condition.

That concern acquired prominence a year ago when 4 astronomers — Lucianne Walkowicz of the JustSpace Alliance and Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein of the University of New Hampshire, Brian Nord of the Fermi Countrywide Accelerator Laboratory and the College of Chicago and Sarah Tuttle of the University of Washington — released an op-ed in Scientific American, “The James Webb Space Telescope Demands to Be Renamed.”

NASA claimed it would look into the claims and publish a report. Subsequently, previous September, Monthly bill Nelson, the existing NASA administrator and a previous Florida senator, introduced that he noticed no have to have to change the identify. No report was ever launched, infuriating the critics.

In March just after the telescope released, Character magazine claimed on the basis of FOIA requests that NASA experienced taken the allegations very seriously plenty of that Paul Hertz, then NASA’s director of astrophysics, experienced published outdoors astronomers inquiring if he must improve the telescope’s name. The remedy was no, but he did not talk to any L.G.B.T.Q. astronomers.

The journal also reported information from the circumstance of Clifford Norton. He experienced been fired from NASA in 1963 — for the duration of Mr. Webb’s tenure — for currently being homosexual, and the archival supplies alluded to “a personalized in the agency” of firing folks for homosexual exercise. Mr. Norton appealed and won a landmark scenario versus these kinds of discrimination in 1969.

In November of 2021, NASA’s Astrophysics Advisory Committee asked the agency for fuller report.

Mr. O’Keefe, the former administrator, defended his preference in an email.

“Arguably, were it not for James Webb’s perseverance to satisfy the most audacious vision of his time, our ability to take a look at these days would be starkly distinct,” Mr. O’Keefe claimed.

But that was not plenty of for the critics. “If he’s not liable for the terrible stuff that transpired whilst he was in charge, why is he dependable for the fantastic stuff?” Dr. Prescod-Weinstein reported. “It would seem there is a bit of double-assume going on below, wherever folks assign him obligation for the factors they like about his legacy and faux that he’s only dependable for the matters they like.”

“Our telescopes, if they are going to be named just after people today, should be named soon after people who inspire us to be our superior selves,” Dr. Prescod-Weinstein added.

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