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NASA Watch gets it wrong about Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye on humans in space

Bill Nye, President Obama, Neil degrasse Tyson
Bill Nye, President Obama, Neil degrasse Tyson
White House

Recently President Obama released a selfie that included him flanked by Neil degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye that was taken at a recent White House event. This caused NASA Watch’s Keith Cowling to grouse, in a tweet sent on February 28, 2014, “Neither person in the selfie w/ the President are (sic) interested in having humans in space - only robots. #WhatIsNASAFor”

Actually, NASA Watch is in error concerning both gentlemen.

Tyson, an astrophysicist and media personality, is a warm supporter of human space exploration. In a 2012 interview in Forbes, Tyson advocated the doubling of NASA’s budget in order to give it enough money to accomplish a return to the moon and human expeditions to Mars. He has been a critic of President Obama’s stingy budgeting of the space agency. In a 2010 interview with Stephen Colbert, Tyson touted human space exploration as a motivating factor for students studying science.

Nye, a former children’s science educator and TV personality, is president of the Planetary Society. In July, 2013, he posted on the Planetary Society’s website advocating human Mars exploration.

Indeed the evidence seems to suggest that among the people in the selfie, the president of the United States is the one least interested in having humans in space.

Mark R. Whittington is the author of Children of Apollo, The Last Moonwalker and Other Stories, and The Man from Mars: The Asteroid Mining Caper