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January 24, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Lost in Space: What is the future for NASA?
Last Featured: 1/17/2005

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

As photos from Spirit and Opportunity were first beamed to earth, the President announced his intention to put a man on Mars. Challenging the President’s priorities, scientists speak about protecting the planet from wayward asteroids and budget hawks argue for more resources to address government red ink than for trips to the red planet. For more than a generation, NASA, along with the nation, has celebrated mission successes and mourned its losses. Our criticism is matched by our curiosity, which leaves one to wonder: what does the future hold for the space program?

Dr. Howard McCurdy is professor of public affairs and chair of the public administration department at American University in Washington, D.C. An expert on space policy, he recently authored Faster, Better, Cheaper, a critical analysis of cost-cutting initiatives in the U.S. space program. An earlier study of NASA’s organizational culture, Inside NASA, won the 1994 Henry Adams prize for that year’s best history on the federal government. He has also written Space and the American Imagination and co-edited Spaceflight and the Myth of Presidential Leadership.

Dr. Robert Park is a leading critic of manned spaceflight. Dr. Park argues that human space exploration is costly, dangerous and slow, when compared to robotic missions. In his 2000 book, Voodoo Science, Dr. Park argues that telerobots are merely "extensions of our frail human bodies." The scientists who control the telerobots, and see through their eyes, become virtual astronauts. A physics professor at the University of Maryland, Dr. Park is also Director of Public Information in the Washington Office of the American Physical Society.

Michael F. Lembeck is the Director of the Requirements Division for the Office of Exploration Systems at NASA Headquarters. Prior to joining NASA, Lembeck was the V.P. for Remote Sensing Programs at Orbital Sciences Corporation and the Chief Engineer for a primary free-flying space shuttle payload, Wakeshield Facility-3, manufactured by Space Industries, Inc., where he also served as the Manager of Engineering. Dr. Lembeck recently served as a member of the NASA-Sponsored Space Shuttle Competitive Sourcing Task Force and was named by the National Space Society's Ad Astra magazine as one of 1994's top 25 "Rising Stars in Space.”

Closing Quote
"Fools. Fools. There are Martians on Mars and [they are] us… From this day forward, we earth men have become Martians. We will live there, and we will survive there."

— Science Fiction Writer Ray Bradbury
When asked how he felt after his notions of life on Mars was disproved.

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Citizens Against Government Waste
NASA’s Mars Exploration Program
The Mars Society
National Space Society
The Planetary Society
The Space Frontier Foundation
Faster, Better, Cheaper: Low-Cost Innovation in the U.S. Space Program
by Howard E. McCurdy
Inside NASA: High Technology and Organizational Change in the U.S. Space Program
by Howard E. McCurdy
Spaceflight and the Myth of Presidential Leadership
by Roger D. Launius, Howard E. McCurdy
Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud
by Robert L. Park
Whose Internet Is It?
Identity Theft