There Is No Hope…

…as long as journalists use phrases like this: (from the NY Times)

Referring to a new test rocket by Blue Origin (an experimental spaceflight company).

When the company performed the first test launching on Nov. 13, it made no announcement.

And that was it, pretty much, until last week, when the Blue Origin Web site ( showed the first pictures and video of a gumdrop-shaped test craft, dubbed Goddard, rising from the West Texas launch site to 285 feet and then, eerily, returning gently to the pad.

[emphasis added]

Eerily? Why is it “eerie” to see something go up, then come down under control? Helicopters do it. Birds do it. Planes do it. Parachutes do it! Hell, the Russians have been doing it since the late 60’s!

Blah blah blah. Here’s another good quote from this article:

The Goddard has a science-fiction sleekness. Videos show the craft taking off and landing again with a loud whooshing sound.

Science fiction sleekness? Whooshing sound?! Does anyone at the NY Times actually watch science fiction? Did they pay any attention to the moon race, because I’m not seeing any extraordinary features on this image. Blue Origins Rocket on its Lauch Pad in West Texas I agree that it’s sleek, but “science-fiction sleekness?” And don’t get me started on “whooshing sound.” That’s ridiculous.

At least the article mentions that this craft looks similar to the DC-X which was a government funded project to develop an uncrewed single-stage-to-orbit vehicle. Probably because some of the same engineers working on the DC-X were hired by Blue Origins.

When will space enthusiasts stop getting second tier columnists? Of course, John Schwartz of the NY Times has been covering space and technology for a while, but that does not excuse him for using such trite phrases as are in this article.

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