## Friday, January 16, 2009

### Fighter pilot to lead NASA

The tension between Michael Griffin and the new Obama administration has been sufficiently strong to expect Griffin's resignation. It will take place almost exactly during Obama's inauguration.

Space.COM announced that Obama plans to name Jonathan Scott Gration as the new boss of NASA.

His military experience is impressive - he might be classified as a hero and a natural authority - and I am sure that many conservative readers will be happy about such a choice. On the other hand, I am not that sure that the choice is good for NASA as a scientific institution.

Gration's links to research (and space program) seem to be non-existent. He holds a Bc degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in national security.

For years, we would be hearing from liberal activists that NASA should be led by scientists and manned flights were already too unscientific. But when a Democratic president chooses a fighter pilot to lead the organization, they are remarkably silent.

Partisan attitudes sometimes make this world a paradoxical place....