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WATCH: NASA Administrator Bill Nelson Shows He Needs Remedial Astronomy Classes

Meme

Let us start by saying we expect different levels of expertise from different people. Like for instance, if we are talking to a layperson and they indicated they didn’t know the difference between a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment, we wouldn’t bat an eyelash at it. That is a level of ignorance that is just normal and justifiable for people who don’t deal with the law very much. We wouldn’t make fun of a such person for not knowing that or look down on them: We would simply explain the difference.

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But if a person claims to be a lawyer or a judge and they don’t know the difference between a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment … we start to think they shouldn’t be involved in the law.

The same goes for this bit of cluelessness we are going to show you from William Nelson, current NASA Administrator. If Nelson was a regular person, not involved in how we run our space program, and he made this mistake … no big deal. It certainly wouldn’t be worth a piece in Twitchy.

But because he is a NASA Administrator … oy vey:

The cut off text reads: 

When asked why the US isn’t going there and what would be the benefit of doing so, Nelson responded; We don’t know what is on the backside of the moon, it’s for the Chinese to discover 

However, as for the United States, our decision is that it’s more profitable for us to go to the South Pole of the moon, because we think that’s where the water is. When asked why, do you think they (the Chinese) made that decision? Nelson said; I have no idea... [clown emoji]

For the record, according to NASA’s website—which actually posted this video—this was from testimony about their budget, on April 18, 2024. We would support a few extra dollars in the budget for education in remedial astronomy for Nelson.

Look, when it comes to astronomy, well … this author is a pretty good lawyer. Still, we also happen to know two facts about the moon that make it unique. First, is that the moon is just the right size and the right distance from the Earth that it looks like it is about the same size as the sun to a person standing on Earth, which means it almost perfectly blocks the sun during a solar eclipse. 

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The second is that the moon is spinning on its axis just so, so that as it revolves around the earth, we are always seeing the same side. That is what they are talking about when they say there is a back side or far side of the moon, because there is a side you will never see from the Earth. And sometimes that is called the ‘dark’ side of the moon, but in this context, it means dark as in ‘unknown’ not as in actually lacking light. 

How do you know that the back side of the moon gets as much light as the front during a lunar day? Well, look at the front. The front side of the moon goes from fully visible to us (full moon) to completely dark (new moon) every 29.5 (Earth) days. That reflects how the sun is shining on the front, so you would expect that the back would always be the opposite—when the front is dark the back is light, when the front is one quarter lit, the back is one quarter dark, and so on.

We would forgive a regular person for not knowing any of this if they don’t work in any area where astronomical knowledge is needed. You know, like if you didn’t work as NASA Administrator.

And we also accept the premise that a good manager doesn’t necessarily have to be someone who knows as much as the people actually doing the hands-on work. But we think a competent manager has to know the basics, like in this case, the fact that the moon is actually rotating on its axis, just like the Earth, which means it has a day and night cycle just like Earth does—only longer.

Do we have to tell you he got roasted?

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We do enjoy tangential roasting.

Prove him wrong. We’ll wait. *laughs*

Jokes aside, we feel pretty confident that the Chinese went to the far side of the moon precisely because it is very difficult to see what they are doing there. It makes it the ultimate ‘dark site’ (although not literally lacking light) and we feel confident that whatever they plan to do over there, it won’t be good. Who knows, maybe they are cooking up the next pandemic.

This calls for a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers musical interlude:

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‘Teachers, leave them kinds alone’ is kind of prophetic these days.

Politics (including racial politics) should never override qualification.

We don’t see how it might be only poorly expressed. Of course, we would accept that he is senile—Google says he is about two months older than our president, after all, and Biden’s more of a potato than Brian Stelter—but that excuse would still mean he is not qualified for this job.

And the same goes for Biden.

But did he try to sync it up to The Wizard of Oz?

We always thought that dumping on the concept of a Space Force was misplaced. We might wish that space stayed demilitarized, but do we really think the Chinese won’t seek to militarize space? We need the capacity to project force into space, because you can bet our enemies will do it, or else we face the possibility of a space-based Pearl Harbor.

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The mockery even went international:

We are going to quote a few people speaking in different languages, so understand that all of this is via Google Translate which can be wrong. So, he allegedly said in Danish:

NASA’s chief executive believes that the back side of the Moon is always in darkness!? [emojis] The USA really has something to gain compared to China!

From Japanese:

At a hearing, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson was asked, ‘What are the Chinese doing on the far side of the moon?’ and made the bizarre claim that ‘the far side of the moon is always dark (it’s not),’ revealing his incompetence by saying that the U.S. has no plans to go there.

It’s similar in Japan, where the Digital Minister confidently answers that you can still see posts even if you block them with X.

From Dutch:

This really isn’t possible..

Now you don’t have to accept anything ‘scientific’ from NASA if its representative doesn’t even know that the Moon also rotates...

How can this man sit in that place and still be accountable for it?

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This is a good point. How often do you see people belonging to the ‘party of science’ prove to be clueless on scientific topics. We see this often on abortion, where abortion advocates claim that human fetuses aren’t human or that they aren’t alive (both statements are untrue, scientifically). The same people who can’t figure out that there is dark side of the moon in terms of illumination are telling us climate change is definitely real.

The truth was also illustrated in gif form:

Hey, don’t put that on all of us.

‘There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.’ 

—Pink Floyd, Eclipse.

*laughs* It checks out.

This author’s late friend John Hoge, who worked for NASA, used to say something like this about the moon landing: ‘Of course, it is fake. That’s why the footage is in black and white: So that you wouldn’t see it was actually shot on Mars.’

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Then he would grin and start laughing at his own joke. This whole piece made us think of him and miss him.

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