Author Topic: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure  (Read 6166 times)

Offline darkenfast

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Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« on: 10/29/2014 10:07 AM »
I just wanted to get this off my chest and didn't want to clog up the current Antares threads.  Like most of you, I spent a good deal of time last night going through the threads on the Antares explosion and then went around the news sites and forums.  I was struck by two things.  First, the quality of the comments on the news stories is absolutely appalling.  I should be used to it by now, but it's like having your face rubbed in the fact that our culture is circling around the drain.  Second, so many in the media just don't have a clue.  Nobody is born knowing this stuff, but some of these people are so determined to hear their own voices that they just spout garbage.  For example: one local "expert" on a Virginia TV station stated that a building next to the pad seen on one of the cameras showing the fire was the "blockhouse", and the launch control team was stuck in there.  Another talked about how they used to use liquid oxygen as a fuel, but they don't anymore.

Anyway, the whole point of my rant is that this forum is the best place for space news.  Chris, if you see this (after you catch up on work and sleep!), I think you and your crew did a VERY good job of handling the excitement yesterday and keeping things on an even keel.  The information, pictures and videos from people who were there and those covered the event and press conference was awesome.

Three cheers for NASASpaceFlight.com! 

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #1 on: 10/29/2014 10:11 AM »
The mainstream media is trash and everyone in every age group knows it at this point. Most likely time, and the free market will solve this. But my point being: I never trust any MSM site/news agency/ect for any degree of technical accuracy on any story involving any kind of science. They always mis-report or mis-represent facts so I avoid it all together. And as for MSM comment sections they are absolute trash you won't find anything of value there.
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #2 on: 10/29/2014 10:25 AM »
This is bitterly true. 24-hour news TV has created a 'rush to broadcast' that means stories are no longer properly written, researched or proofed before they go on air. This leads to misinformation becoming 'common knowledge' and, sometimes, panicked over-reaction to non-events.
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Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #3 on: 10/29/2014 10:26 AM »
Today, I've listened to radio, TV and internet coverage from all over the world - including here in N.Z. - about the accident and most 'news' outlets have been fixated on the cost of the rocket and payload. I've heard figures ranging from a plausible $200 million dollars (Culbertson said it, so it's more real) to one laughable figure of $1 billion dollars; billion with a b. Some news outlets and ignorant talk radio commentators have been almost baying with predatory outrage about 'The Cost! The Cost!' as if the Antares and indeed Space ventures in general are some sort of outrageous, shameful waste of money. And don't even talk to me about the comments sections of news websites and some social media sites!!

Apocrypha like; Who do those NASA types think they are?! Wasting billions on this crap, while people are dying of ebola, people are starving and global warming is destroying our planet daily!! Tons of rubbish spewing from the mouths and keyboards of the banal and thoroughly ignorant. Just watch when the EFT-1 test flight for Orion happens. It'll be 'the $10 billion dollar spacecraft' launched on the '$500 million dollar' Delta rocket. When Curiosity landed on Mars, so much of it's description in the media went; 'the $2 billion dollar robot' etc. This is part of the reason why Space ventures struggle. News editorial staff don't even try to hide their disgust or bias against the 'waste of money'. You know; 'fix the problems on Earth before going into Space' etc. Well, if we did that - nobody would be doing anything or going anywhere... Ever...  >:(  :'(
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Offline Jarnis

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #4 on: 10/29/2014 10:30 AM »
Welcome to the world of Mainstream Media propaganda. Everyone is trying to push their agendas - some more overtly than others.  Actual reporting of the news, just the facts and carefully checked facts, has gone extinct.

Offline grakenverb

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #5 on: 10/29/2014 10:32 AM »
The mainstream media is trash and everyone in every age group knows it at this point. Most likely time, and the free market will solve this. But my point being: I never trust any MSM site/news agency/ect for any degree of technical accuracy on any story involving any kind of science. They always mis-report or mis-represent facts so I avoid it all together. And as for MSM comment sections they are absolute trash you won't find anything of value there.


You can carry that over to almost all reporting on anything, not just science.  I work in the emergency services field and over the years have come to the conclusion that facts simply don't matter to most reporters. Even the most basic information is consistently wrong. It might  be due to downsizing, competition,  failure of journalism schools, who knows.  The basic "who,what,where,when,why" no longer seems to apply in the majority of news stories.

I would like to second the OP' s sentiments about the quality of the reporting here at NSF.   Chris, you and your reporters bring a sense of quality and professionalism that is largely missing from the "big boys".  It is greatly appreciated, please keep up the good work.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #6 on: 10/29/2014 10:34 AM »
This is bitterly true. 24-hour news TV has created a 'rush to broadcast' that means stories are no longer properly written, researched or proofed before they go on air. This leads to misinformation becoming 'common knowledge' and, sometimes, panicked over-reaction to non-events.

When Space missions of note happened - both manned and major Mars probes etc - myself and another guy here in New Zealand often did radio and sometimes TV commentary down here about Space matters. We were the go-to "experts" they consulted. For more than ten years I did this, including finally, doing live reports from KSC leading up to and after the launch of STS-135. Then, Curiosity landed on Mars and I did a single radio interview. Since then? Nothing... The mainstream media here (and elsewhere) scarcely seem to care anymore. Perhaps they thought Space 'ended' after STS-135 and Curiosity landed?! I'm looking forward to EFT-1 and next year; New Horizons at Pluto and Dawn at Ceres. But I reckon if the mainstream media do much at all, they'll stroke on about 'The Cost!' of these amazing ventures. Sheesh...
« Last Edit: 10/29/2014 10:36 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline Quintus

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #7 on: 10/29/2014 10:59 AM »
To be absolutely fair the BBC on their news website (Jonathon Amos et al) have a very clear and balanced account of the accident without even one mention of the cost! I agree entirely with all the comments about the usual dire quality of space coverage in the media however...sadly.

Offline StuffOfInterest

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #8 on: 10/29/2014 11:11 AM »
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #9 on: 10/29/2014 11:21 AM »
I have been at work for over an hour now with Foxnews baying in the background. I have yet to hear any mention of the failure. New shiny thing, they have moved on.

A 6:22 launch time made perfect time for the nightly news broadcast cycles.
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Offline Jarnis

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #10 on: 10/29/2014 11:24 AM »
To be absolutely fair the BBC on their news website (Jonathon Amos et al) have a very clear and balanced account of the accident without even one mention of the cost! I agree entirely with all the comments about the usual dire quality of space coverage in the media however...sadly.

True. One of the few that does.

Compare BBC reporting to say, The Guardian and the contrast is huge.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-29812139

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/oct/28/antares-rocket-explodes-nasa-launch-pad-orbital-science

BBC reported a bunch of facts, then gave an analyst (who really knew what he was talking about) some room to explain and carefully speculate a bit.

The Guardian immediately went full stupid mode and started to push an agenda "russki engines no good, why on earth are they using them?" and then went for the price of it all - granted, with realistic numbers.

And The Guardian is one of the less bad ones...



Offline rdale

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #11 on: 10/29/2014 11:27 AM »
I have been at work for over an hour now with Foxnews baying in the background.

They already concluded that it was Obama's plan to spread Ebola through that explosion so have moved onto the hype stage...

Offline Oli

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #12 on: 10/29/2014 11:40 AM »
Compare BBC reporting to say, The Guardian and the contrast is huge.

Guess who gets more clicks ;)

BBC is funded by taxpayers. Sometimes that is a plus.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #13 on: 10/29/2014 12:24 PM »
Compare BBC reporting to say, The Guardian and the contrast is huge.

Guess who gets more clicks ;)

BBC is funded by taxpayers. Sometimes that is a plus.

Until you get a Joseph Goebbels wanna-be running it.
« Last Edit: 10/29/2014 12:25 PM by docmordrid »
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Online LouScheffer

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #14 on: 10/29/2014 12:44 PM »
[...] I never trust any MSM site/news agency/ect for any degree of technical accuracy on any story involving any kind of science.[...]
I completely agree, except for the restriction to science.  In my experience, *any* event in which I have been personally involved has significant errors as reported in the media.  It's just more obvious in science, where there often exists a verifiably correct answer which any competent person can find.

Online yg1968

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Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #15 on: 10/29/2014 12:51 PM »
To be absolutely fair the BBC on their news website (Jonathon Amos et al) have a very clear and balanced account of the accident without even one mention of the cost! I agree entirely with all the comments about the usual dire quality of space coverage in the media however...sadly.

True. One of the few that does.

Compare BBC reporting to say, The Guardian and the contrast is huge.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-29812139

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/oct/28/antares-rocket-explodes-nasa-launch-pad-orbital-science

BBC reported a bunch of facts, then gave an analyst (who really knew what he was talking about) some room to explain and carefully speculate a bit.

The Guardian immediately went full stupid mode and started to push an agenda "russki engines no good, why on earth are they using them?" and then went for the price of it all - granted, with realistic numbers.

And The Guardian is one of the less bad ones...

There is nothing that is inaccurate in the Guardian article. Culbertson didn't have a good answer for why the AJ-26 engine was chosen instead of a newer engine. His response was essentially, we had no choice (which is true). There is almost no other option domestically or internationally. It's a good thing that Antares is trying to get RD-180s for the CRS2 contract. If Orbital doesn't manage to get a contract for RD-180s for the CRS2 contract prior to the awards being made, their chances of winning CRS2 will be very slim. 
« Last Edit: 10/29/2014 12:52 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Media, NASASpaceFlight and the Antares failure
« Reply #16 on: 10/29/2014 12:55 PM »
Thanks to Darkenfast for the comment. Really appreciated, but yes there are some very good mass media people around, such as Jonathan Amos and so on.

Best to lock this thread as someone's already mentioned Ebola.......

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