7:30 AM

Darkest days at NASA?

Some old story every morning. Now, The Washington Post is reporting this A.M. that another of W’s appointees is under investigation for a laundry list of crap that would easily get them FIRED in the real world.

In this go-round, written complaints and supporting documents from at least 16 people have been given to investigators at an FBI-led watchdog agency alleging that NASA Inspector General Robert Cobb, appointed by President Bush in 2002, suppressed investigations of wrongdoing within NASA, and abused and penalized his own investigators when they persisted in raising concerns.

The paper trail may be there:

WaPo says they have documents and interviews with NASA employees and former employees to show that Cobb's actions had contributed to a lack of attention to safety problems at NASA.
The “Integrity Committee” of the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency is also looking into the complaints. What is on the wire today describe efforts by Cobb to “shut down or ignore” investigations on issues like the malfunctioning self-destruct procedure during a space shuttle launch at the Kennedy Space Center, and the theft of an estimated $1.9 billion worth of data on rocket engines from NASA computers.

Nice. So who could possible use $1.9B in sweet NASA rocket engine data? I could think of a dozen members of the real “Axis of Evil” that would kill – quite literally – for that data. Of course, Cobb has no comment, and as expected, W thinks he’s doin’ “a heckuva job” down there in Houston.

NASA has never fully recovered from the Challenger accident on January 28, 1986. The Shuttle program has floundered and is nearing the end of it’s useful life. And there is nothing wildly new from NASA is on the horizon except a mega-expensive sightseeing trip to MARS, which is about the most foolish idea I have ever heard in today’s economy.

I long for the good ol’ days of the Space Race, when the Yanks and Reds were blasting monkeys into orbit with crossed fingers, and when Armstrong (for Generation X, Y and Z that would be Neil, not Lance) was hitting Titlists dead, solid, perfect on the moon.

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