NASA chief: Criticism Hurting Space Agency Morale
“Unfounded criticism of America’s next-generation moon rocket is hurting NASA morale but hasn’t stopped progress on the craft, the space agency’s administrator Michael Griffin said Tuesday.
“Griffin said critics in the media and on anonymous Internet blogs can ‘chip away’ at the agency by questioning the motives and ethics of engineers designing the new rockets.
“Briefing charts used by NASA managers sometimes show up on Web sites without the proper context, he said, and opponents of the agency’s plans to replace the space shuttle with two new rockets have wrongly accused NASA managers of incompetence and worse.
“‘Are we at a place where differences of engineering (opinion) are cited as evidence of lying or malfeasance? This is not how any of us were taught to conduct an engineering discussion,’ he said at a symposium of top NASA leaders and industry executives in Alabama.”
My View: I don’t know about out-of-context briefing charts. But, there has been criticism of NASA’s path back to the moon for quite some time now. They have come from actual engineers whom I respect who hold Griffin responsible for what they view as bad decisions along the way. I’m not sure if the criticisms are right or wrong; time will tell.
One thing is clear: in defending his engineers from criticism, Griffin also is defending himself. That’s fine. It’s a free country.