[FPSPACE] Why don't, people check facts?

Phillip Clark phillipclark.molniya at virgin.net
Sun Apr 16 10:07:19 EDT 2006


The following story based upon AFP claims that the Shenzhou 6 orbital module was de-orbited a day or two ago:

http://www.spacedaily.com/2006/060415113031.zildaptb.html

One therefore might wonder what is still orbiting the Earth in the orbit used by the SZ6 orbital module.

Of course, what has happened is that the Chinese made their routine announcement that after the planned six months of operation, the orbital module had completed its prime mission.   This is what the Chinese have announced on previous missions six months into the orbital module's flight and about a month beforethe natural decay or the module.

(Boring historical point: NO Shenzhou orbital module has ever de-orbited itself, it has always decayed naturally from orbit.)

So why do the media not bother to check facts when putting together a story?   I am old enough to remember the days when media journalists used to properly research stories and double- and triple- check facts (aren't facts boring when speculating is far more fun?!!) before putting anything into print.

Nowadays they seem to happily reproduce unverified press releases and sit back drawing huge salaries, thinking that they have done their job properly!!

I despair at the standard of spaceflight reporting these days.


Phillip Clark

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Phillip S Clark                      Flat 2 Wellington House
Molniya Space Consultancy            Castle Hill Passage
                                     Hastings
Compiler/Publisher                   East Sussex   TN34 1PG
   Worldwide Satellite Launches      United Kingdom

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY

(1)   The only way to comprehend the deeds and utterances of 
politicians is with the basic knowledge that they had their brains
surgically removed before they were allowed to enter politics: no 
counter-examples to disprove this theory are known.

(2)   Why should the Universe be comprehensible to human beings ?

(3)   "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana" from Beyond
Coincidence by Martin Plimmer and Brian King, page 28.

(4)   "To live outside the law you must be honest" (The Zim, 1966).
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