Update on the LDSD partly successful test flight


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Another eleven news stories were published today on the LDSD test flight (go here to find them all), but only two gave an honest and informative appraisal of the parachute failure and the program’s future. This CBS report clarified the results well with these two quotes:

The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator then fell toward impact in the Pacific Ocean northwest of Hawaii. The carrier balloon apparently came apart after the LDSD’s release and it was not immediately clear what recovery crews standing by in the landing zone might be able to retrieve.

and this:

Two more LDSD vehicles are being built for “flights of record” next summer.

Another report from Space Insider also provided this key information, something I would have expected every journalist in the world to have considered essential to their report.

Sadly, not one of the other news stories saw fit to mention that the test vehicle might have been destroyed because of the failure of the chute, nor did any of them bother to report that two more such test vehicles are under construction, allowing program to continue anyway.

That so many news stories were published on this test flight indicates the interest that exists in it. Too bad most reporters writing these stories were only interested in providing us propaganda and pro-NASA cheer-leading.

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One comment

  • mpthompson

    I don’t think this is specific to this test or to NASA as much as it is cheerleading for government programs in general by the media. When do we ever hear about a government program not living up to its original billing? The media-government complex will be terribly difficult to untangle, if it ever can.

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