NASA has announced that it will not rename the James Webb Space Telescope before its launch in December, despite a petition against praising the space pioneers, who many see as gay.
James Webb was NASA’s second administrator. From 1961 to 1968, he chaired the institution during an early and important period of space exploration. But in recent years, his legacy has been called into question.
Webb, who died in 1992 at the age of 85, was the second administrator in NASA history at the behest of John F. Kennedy in 1961.
He ran the agency until 1968, and the year after he left he was instrumental in the Apollo program where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.
But in recent years, after criticism from Webb, a decision was made in 2002 to name a new $ 10 billion telescope.
Webb was charged with homosexuality after his role in firing homosexuals from NASA was raised in 1963. Questions were also asked about his participation in the 1950-1952 “Lavender Park” when he was at the State Department, and 91 homosexuals were “purged.” “
However, on September 30, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said he decided not to rename the telescope.
“At this point, we haven’t found any evidence that the James Webb Space Telescope needs to be renamed,” he told NPR.
You can see the James Webb Space Telescope being assembled for the first time. $ 10 billion telescope, 100 times more powerful than Hubble, to launch in December
The James Webb Space Telescope is so large that it must be folded inside the rocket and unfolded once in orbit.
Technicians and scientists check one of the Webb Telescope’s first two flight mirrors in the clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Nelson’s decision offended those who campaigned to rename the $ 10 billion telescope, described by NASA as the largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built in space. ..
“This will radically change our understanding of the universe,” promises NASA.
The telescope will enter orbit on December 18, after 25 years of work by 1,200 scientists, technicians and engineers from 14 countries.
It is considered an upgrade of the Hubble Telescope and is 100 times more powerful. According to NASA, it can be folded like an origami to fit in a rocket, and is large enough to deploy “like a transformer” in space.
Webb’s actions are the subject of intense debate.
Webb can be seen standing next to Kennedy while presenting a distinguished Federal Public Servant’s Medal to Dr. Robert R. Gilluth, Director of the Manned Space Center. Astronauts Alan Shepard (far left) and John Glenn (second from left) watch
Webb was filmed during a NASA press conference in Washington, DC in 1962.
Was James Webb an aversion to gay people?
Webb’s importance to the US space program is undeniable, but his attitude has sparked significant debate.
His critics say he shouldn’t be praised when so many pioneers, especially women and people of color, are being ignored. His supporters say he was a product of his time, and his actual involvement in incidents involving him is disputed.
Webb was in the State Department when 91 homosexuals were kicked out of work during the so-called “fear of lavender” of 1950-52.
At that time, it was illegal for homosexuals to serve as public servants, and being homosexual was considered immoral. Homosexuals were often seen as targets of blackmail.
Web advocates say there is no evidence of his actions during the lavender scare.
Webb spoke at the White House in 1963, with Kennedy on the right and Lindon B. Johnson on the left.
Webb has also been criticized for presiding over the dismissal of Clifford L. Norton, who was arrested by the “moral squad” in Washington, DC in 1963.
NASA accused him of being “immoral, obscene and shameful”.
But Webb supporters say that as an agency manager, he would not have been involved in firing low-level budget managers. Additionally, when Norton filed for an illegal dismissal in 1969, Webb was completely anonymous in the matter.
A lawyer by training, he was Undersecretary of State in the 1950s, when homosexuals were “deviants” banned from public office and fearing blackmail. ..
Under President Harry Truman’s leadership, a gay purge has taken place known as the Lavender Fear – 91 State Department employees lost their jobs.
Still, supporters of Webb (the team behind the PBS documentary Chasing the Moon) point out that there was no evidence that Webb was directly involved in the fear of lavender.
Webb was also in the State Department when the idea of psychological warfare was introduced.
Even more embarrassing is NASA budget manager Clifford L. Norton, who was arrested by the Washington, DC “moral brigade” in 1963 and subsequently fired for his homosexuality.
NASA accused him of being “immoral, obscene and shameful”.
Norton filed a lawsuit in 1969 and won an unprecedented lawsuit banning homosexuals from working as public servants.
Webb was the administrator of NASA at the time, so he is responsible for the dismissal.
Still, his supporters say he would not have been involved in firing low-level employees like Norton.
Additionally, the Chasing the Moon team points out that Webb’s name was not mentioned in the 1969 case filed against civil servant chief John Macy.
The organizer of the petition, who opposes Webb’s respect for the telescope, was angry with the decision to continue.
“NASA decided to keep the name (did it change the tradition of naming space telescopes after scientists and was it chosen by former NASA administrators to honor another administrator? “) – And” announced “it by barely leaking a statement to a limited number of people. journalists, ”said astrophysicist Sarah Tuttle, who wrote the petition with the three others.
“This morning, I spend the next two days attending a lecture at NASA Space Grant Colleges in the United States, which is particularly heartbreaking.
“Thank you people for raising the ranks of minorities on the opening day of this conference – we don’t really care how our decisions affect them. Not enough to answer the question. “
“NASA will ignore the request for a review of 1,200 astronomers and will not rename JWST, after the career manager who oversaw the persecution of gay aversion and the development of psychological warfare. Rely on shyness and bad PR technology to get away. ”
An astronaut known as Mercury Seven can be seen listening to the Web on the catwalk in 1964. Left to right: Deke Slayton, Wally Schirra, Donald Cooper, Scott Carpenter, Gus Grisson, John Glenn, Alan Shepard
NASA rejected petition to rename the $ 10 billion James Webb space telescope while claiming to discriminate against gays
Source link NASA rejected petition to rename the $ 10 billion James Webb space telescope while claiming to discriminate against gays