If you accuse the federal agency responsible for the greatest achievement of humanity of being problematic, at least clear your facts The York Times was launched last week on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing published.
The newspaper thought it would be a good idea to publish an opinion article arguing that NASA suffers from a culture of deep-seated gender bias and that its approach to space exploration is ultimately sexist. Unfortunately for the newspaper, some of the "facts" highlighted by author Mary Robinette Kowal to represent her case are downright lies .
"In order to reach the moon, women have to escape the gender bias of the earth," reads the headline of the article. The subtitle added: "The Apollo program was developed by men for men. However, NASA can learn from their mistakes by sending women to the moon and beyond. "
" If we do not recognize the gender bias of the early space program, it will be difficult to get past it, "the article adds.
Conclusion: "Looking back on the Apollo mission, it is important to study the gender stereotypes of the early space program in order to learn from it. If we want to land the first woman on the moon, we make sure she has tools specially designed for her. Eliminating the heritage of gender bias is only a small step.
Here comes the story of some serious problems.
In the original version of the article, Kowal wrote: "Without conscious thought, the design of The Ship and the Moon Platform for the Artemis Missions will likely reproduce the design decisions made in the Apollo era when all astronauts were men ,
She adds [emphasis added]"Ladder rungs are set to the optimum distance for the average man. The pistol grip tool or the cordless drill is designed for a man's hand. The distance from the seats to the control panels in the Dragon Crew capsule of SpaceX is tested and optimized for a male-only crew . "
This is not the case. The test includes both men and women.
Kowal also writes that astronaut Cady Coleman is the "smallest person to ever make a spacewalk". Coleman has never undertaken a spacewalk, though she has qualified for it.
The article now includes a note from the publisher: "An earlier version of this essay misclassified the gender of those involved in SpaceX Crew Dragon's capsule tests. The tests included both men and women, not just men. It was also erroneously stated that an astronaut had completed a spacewalk. Cady Coleman has qualified for a spacewalk, she did not do any. "
Also, while we're at it, it's probably worth noting that the Times this weekend published an article in which a caption captures the mistaken Earth for the Moon. This mistake was also corrected and noted by the editors of the paper.
Apart from that, there are some great points about the function!