NASA rejected a petition to rename the $ 10 billion James Webb Space Telescope while claiming to discriminate against gays

NASA has announced that it will not rename the James Webb Space Telescope prior to its December launch, despite a petition against praising space pioneers, which many consider to be homosexual.

James Webb was NASA’s second administrator. From 1961 to 1968, he presided over the institution during an early and significant period of space exploration.But in recent years his legacy has been questioned

Webb, who died in 1992 at the age of 85, was the second administrator in NASA’s history at the request of John F. Kennedy in 1961.

He ran the agency until 1968, and the year after his departure, he was instrumental in the Apollo program where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked the moon.

But in recent years, after Webb’s criticism, a decision was made in 2002 to name a new $ 10 billion telescope.

Webb has been accused of homosexuality after his role in dismissing NASA homosexuals was raised in 1963. Questions were also asked about his participation in the 1950-52 “Lavender Scare” when he was in the State Department, and 91 gay people were “purged.”

However, on September 30, NASA administrator Bill Nelson said he had decided not to rename the telescope.

“At this point, we haven’t found any evidence that the James Webb Space Telescope needs to be renamed,” he told NPR.

You can see the James Webb Space Telescope being assembled for the first time.A $ 10 billion telescope, 100 times more powerful than Hubble, will be launched in December

You can see the James Webb Space Telescope being assembled for the first time.A $ 10 billion telescope, 100 times more powerful than Hubble, will be launched in December

The James Webb Space Telescope is so large that it needs to be folded inside the rocket and unfolded once it is in orbit.

The James Webb Space Telescope is so large that it needs to be folded inside the rocket and unfolded once it is in orbit.

Technicians and scientists check one of the first two flight mirrors of the Webb Telescope in the clean room of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Technicians and scientists check one of the first two flight mirrors of the Webb Telescope in the clean room of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Nelson’s decision offended those who campaigned to rename the $ 10 billion telescope, described by NASA as the largest and most powerful and complex space telescope ever built into space. ..

“It will radically change our understanding of the universe,” NASA promises.

The telescope will go into orbit on December 18, after 25 years of work by 1,200 scientists, technicians and engineers from 14 countries.

It is considered an upgrade to the Hubble Telescope and is 100x more powerful. According to NASA, it can be folded like origami to fit in a rocket, and is big enough to deploy “like a transformer” in space.

Webb’s actions are the subject of intense debate.

Webb can be seen standing next to Kennedy while presenting a prominent federal civil servant medal to Dr. Robert R. Gilluth, director of the Manned Space Center.Astronauts Alan Shepard (far left) and John Glenn (second from left) are watching

Webb can be seen standing next to Kennedy while presenting a prominent federal civil servant medal to Dr. Robert R. Gilluth, director of the Manned Space Center.Astronauts Alan Shepard (far left) and John Glenn (second from left) are watching

Webb was filmed at a NASA press conference in Washington, DC in 1962.

Webb was filmed at a NASA press conference in Washington, DC in 1962.

Was James Webb a homosexual aversion?

Webb’s importance to the US space program is undeniable, but his attitude has sparked significant debate.

His critics say he should not be praised when so many pioneers, especially women and people of color, are ignored. His supporters say he was a product of his time, and his actual involvement in incidents related to him is disputed.

Webb was in the State Department when 91 gays were expelled from work during the so-called “lavender scare” of 1950-52.

At that time, it was illegal for homosexuals to serve as civil servants, and being homosexual was considered immoral. Gay people were often regarded as targets for blackmail.

Web advocates say there is no evidence of his actions during the lavender scare.

Webb spoke at the White House in 1963, with Kennedy on the right and Lindon B. Johnson on the left.

Webb spoke at the White House in 1963, with Kennedy on the right and Lindon B. Johnson on the left.

Webb has also been criticized for presiding over the dismissal of Clifford L. Norton, who was arrested by the “moral squad” in Washington, DC in 1963.

NASA accused him of being “immoral, obscene, and shameful.”

But Webb supporters say, as an agency manager, he wouldn’t have been involved in the dismissal of low-level budget managers. Moreover, when Norton filed an illegal dismissal in 1969, Webb was completely unnamed in the case.

Trained as a lawyer, he served as Deputy Secretary of State in the 1950s, when homosexuals were “deviants” who were banned from serving as civil servants and were concerned that they could be blackmailed. ..

Under the direction of President Harry Truman, a gay purge took place, which became known as lavender scare-91 State Department employees lost their jobs.

Still, Webb proponents (the team behind PBS documentary Chasing the Moon) point out that there was no evidence that Webb was directly involved in the lavender scare.

Webb was also in the State Department when the idea of ​​psychological warfare was introduced.

Even more troublesome is NASA’s budget manager Clifford L. Norton, who was arrested by the Washington, DC “moral squad” in 1963 and subsequently dismissed for being gay.

NASA accused him of being “immoral, obscene, and shameful.”

Norton filed a proceeding in 1969 and won a groundbreaking proceeding banning homosexuals from working as civil servants.

Webb was the administrator of NASA at the time, so he is responsible for firing.

Still, his supporters say he would not have been involved in the dismissal of low-level employees like Norton.

In addition, the Chasing the Moon team points out that Webb’s name was not mentioned in the 1969 case filed against the head of civil servant John Macy.

The petition organizer, who opposes Webb’s respect for the telescope, was angry with the decision to continue.

“NASA has decided to keep the name (has it changed the tradition of naming space telescopes after scientists and was chosen by past NASA administrators to honor another administrator?” )-And “announced” it by barely leaking a statement there to a limited number of journalists, “said astrophysicist Sarah Tuttle, who wrote the petition with the other three.

“This morning, I’m spending the next two days attending a conference at NASA Space Grant Colleges in the United States, which is especially heartbreaking.

“Thanks to the people for raising the ranks of the minority people on the opening day of this conference-we don’t really care how our decisions affect them. Not enough to answer the question .. “

“NASA will ignore the request for reconsideration from 1,200 astronomers and will not rename JWST, named after the career manager who oversaw the persecution of homosexual aversion and the development of psychological warfare. Relying on timidity and poor PR technology to leak. ”

An astronaut known as Mercury Seven can be seen listening to the web on the podium in 1964. From left to right: Deke Slayton, Wally Schirra, Donald Cooper, Scott Carpenter, Gus Grisson, John Glenn, Alan Shepard

An astronaut known as Mercury Seven can be seen listening to the web on the podium in 1964. From left to right: Deke Slayton, Wally Schirra, Donald Cooper, Scott Carpenter, Gus Grisson, John Glenn, Alan Shepard

NASA rejected a petition to rename the $ 10 billion James Webb Space Telescope while claiming to discriminate against gays

Source link NASA rejected a petition to rename the $ 10 billion James Webb Space Telescope while claiming to discriminate against gays