Artemis 1: Haters Gonna Hate

Hello, friends!

My gosh, certain people sure do love doling out criticism.  Even the slightest mistake or delay, and the critics come out in droves, robed in all their smugness.  I see this all the time as a writer and an artist, and on Monday I saw a smattering of critics online smugly criticizing NASA’s Artemis Program.

On Monday morning, NASA had to scrub the launch of Artemis 1, an uncrewed test flight of the spacecraft that will soon return American astronauts to the Moon.  Apparently there was trouble with one of the engines.  Most people, I think, understand that technical problems happen and that safety must come first.  But a few folks out there saw this as an opportunity to take cheap shots at NASA, the U.S. government, and America as a whole.

Now look… (heavy sigh)… okay, there are some valid criticisms to be made about all those things.  The United States has problems.  NASA has problems.  The Artemis Program, in particular, has been politicized from the start, and whenever things get political in the U.S., bad decisions ensue.  But even if none of that were the case, even if NASA could somehow operate independently of Congress and politics, problems would still crop up.

Taking time to stop and fix the problem with Artemis 1’s engine—that’s not a sign of weakness.  That’s not a failure.  If anything, it shows that the people at NASA are doing their jobs, taking the proper precautions, and learning from past mistakes.  Ignoring the engine issue—plowing ahead with the original plan, regardless of the danger—potentially allowing a multi-billion dollar spacecraft to blow up on the launchpad?  That would have been a real failure.

But no, a few people out there think delaying the launch for a few days is a “huge embarrassment” for America.  There will always be people like this who act super smug while lobbing lazy criticism at others.  Whether you’re a national space agency or just some writer/illustrator on the Internet, try to ignore this sort of criticism if you can (or rant about it on your blog, if you must—just don’t dwell on it for too long).


Fran, from My Hubble Abode, posted a wonderful video on YouTube reacting to some of the nonsense people have been saying about the Artemis 1 launch delay. Click here to check it out!

18 thoughts on “Artemis 1: Haters Gonna Hate

  1. So well said! I see it so much on Facebook, but it’s always from people who don’t understand how great it is that they found a fault before ruining a good bit of spacecraft as you mentioned!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. From what I’ve read, there are valid concerns with the SLS program, but launch delays aren’t one of them. All launch vehicles, even well established ones, frequently have delays. Over the years, I tried a couple of times to catch a Shuttle launch; both times they were delayed. It’s just the nature of rocketry. I wonder if the same critics will be equally vocal next time SpaceX has a delay (or explosion).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Whether you’re a national space agency or just some writer/illustrator on the Internet, try to ignore this sort of criticism if you can (or rant about it on your blog, if you must—just don’t dwell on it for too long).” well said.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The first bit of the Lunar Codex is a poem by the founder/benefactor Samual Peralta in Artemis 1 to orbit before returning to Earth and joining the final lunar capsule in late 2024. We were told by the scientists involved that “space is hard” in this very frustrated-but-work-as-usual tone that made me laugh, because it seemed like the same sort of thing I’d say about a setback with my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So often, I’m struck by the parallels between writing and going to space. They’re both big dreams, they’re both really hard, and a lot of things can go wrong along the way. And they both provoke the same kind of knee-jerk criticism from certain people.

      Liked by 1 person

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