Representative from Texas
A little confused on the history of the American space program.
Armstrong planted a U.S. flag on Mars?
The two Voyager missions marked their 20th anniversaries in late August and early September. Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1997 and Voyager 2 on August 20 (Voyager 1 was launched on a faster trajectory, hence the earlier designation). The two spacecraft provided detailed looks at the four gas giant worlds, and the RTG-powered spacecraft continue to return data on the sun's magnetic field and particle environment, especially important as the two craft approach the heliopause, the boundary between interplanetary and interstellar place... The Congressional bonehead award goes to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) who, on a visit to JPL, asked if Mars Pathfinder had taken an image of the flag planted there in 1969 by Neil Armstrong! Quipped Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) to the Washington Times: "We just don't teach enough science." Worse, Jackson Lee, who represents Houston, is a member of the House Science Committee's space subcommittee. Perhaps some committee reassignments are in order...
Sees discrimination in the naming of devastating storms.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, has detected racial discrimination in the naming of Hurricanes. She says names like Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Sam and Hurricane Wanda are just too white and, "all racial groups should be represented." But, as The Hill newspaper notes, Jackson Lee will have to wait until at least 2007, when the current roster of names runs out.
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