James Oberg (jamesoberg.com(1)), who had a 22-year career as a space engineer in Houston, appeared on Tuesday's show discussing all things space oriented. "I'm the only journalist NASA officially described as whacko," Oberg joked when explaining why NASA cancelled their plan to have him write a book refuting the conspiratorial claims that Apollo never went to the Moon (it was partially a budgetary concern).
Oberg also discussed the latest theories about the Columbia Shuttle disaster, suggesting that it may have been a confluence of mishaps that brought the craft down. He hasn't ruled out one factorâ€"strange activity in the upper atmosphere, though he did say that a San Francisco photographer's image of an unusual bolt hitting the Shuttle may have been due to a camera flaw.
"Our space program has had surges and retreatsâ€¦ (but) it's a cultural, even a genetic imperative to keep exploring new environments," Oberg said. Going to Mars has practical benefits, but beyond that "cultures that believe in the future and act like they doâ€"are the ones that have futuresâ€¦We're the descendants of wanderers and explorers. The stay-at-homes all went extinct," he said.