Monday, January 16, 2012
The Russian government is reacting with outrage over the failure of its Mars probe. Officials are vowing to name those responsible for the errant rocket, and they have turned the crash into a PR disaster for the nation and the space program. Their reactions smack of the old Soviet Union. Yes, it is necessary to find out what went wrong and to fix it. And, it might be necessary to dismiss some people from the program who are not competent to be there, but to pillory them publicly helps no one. It is likely to motivate talented scientists to avoid working for the space program. Who wants to be mocked? The real PR disaster is the Russian government shooting itself in the foot.