Sloppy Journalism goes beyond the “wank-rags”

You may be aware that I have a special kind of disdain for journalists, I think for the most part they are a septic ulcer on the anus of society, their poorly written articles with a shit pun as a headline aren’t worth the recycled paper they’re printed on.

Which is why I was shocked when I picked up this weeks issue of ‘New Scientist’ and read possibly the worst article…in the world.

The Article by Henry Spencer praises SpaceX for their achievement by comparing it to the Mercury Programme. The Headline reads “Commercial capsule succeeds where NASA failed” it’s Raison D’etre seems simply to compare the first flight of the Dragon spacecraft with that of NASA’s Mercury rockets, and because SpaceX did it in one go and it took NASA 3 attempts.

In short that’s like Saying the Boeing 747 was a success because it took the Wright brothers 3 years to make their first flight.

What Mr Spencer hasn’t considered is at the time of the Mercury programme no one with the exception of the Russians had the know how to get a capsule into space and back again. Computers back then was a blackboard and knowledge on Orbital mechanics and how to get something into orbit would have fit on the back of a napkin. SpaceX have had success because everything they’re doing has been done before, the mechanics behind getting a capsule into orbit are well documented and there has been various rocket systems capable of doing the Job. All SpaceX did was use existing technology, technology based on Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.

Maybe Mr Spencer should have put the article on Hold until SpaceX do something “new”

A link to the offending article is here

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One thought on “Sloppy Journalism goes beyond the “wank-rags”

  1. stalinetta February 8, 2011 / 7:32 pm

    I am sure there must have been worse articles in the history of journalism, but I completely agree with you, that comparing SpaceX with Nasa is plain stupid.
    I did not happen to read that particular issue of NS, but I would have expected better from them.
    Anyway, I am all for flagging sloppy journalism and exposing the perpetrators mercilessly –
    good job on the name and shame of Mr. Spencer.

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