Simberg says this quote from a NASA official stuck out to him, and it does me too, though maybe for a different reason.
Neither Bridenstine nor Pence said so explicitly, but these comments reflect their sense that NASA has become too bureaucratic, too tentative, too risk averse. During his town hall this week, Bridenstine had a telling response when asked why, by setting such an ambitious goal of a 2024 landing, was he not putting schedule over safety?
“I would not say it’s a return to schedule over safety, I would say it’s a return to schedule,” he said. “Safety is paramount for everybody at this agency, it always has been. But the number one mission is not safety. If it was, we would all just stay in the ready room and just watch CNN.”
Of course we all already know that safety isn’t the “number one mission” for NASA. “Muslim outreach” is.