Planetary Science

1 12 2011

Jim Green, Director of Planetary Science, NASA Headquarters, opened his talk at the recent MSL NASATweetup with the claim that NASA invented planetary science:

“So, I’m going to tell you what I think about planetary science. You know, I’m a, as a planetary scientist, I have a very unique view. Planetary science was invented by NASA. Okay? What we did before NASA was astronomy. All right? That means that you sat at a telescope and you looked at the solar system and you watched the wandering planets as they moved, and you speculated or you made a series of observations and determined their orbits, etc. But when NASA came into being, it changed everything. It changed that field from astronomy to geology. Magnetospheric physics. Atmospheric physics. Because we go there.”