Science and Exploration

Playing Wheel of Fortune With NASA Public Affairs

By Keith Cowing
April 12, 2017
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Playing Wheel of Fortune With NASA Public Affairs
NASA PAO Wheel of Fortune

I just love the media advisories NASA issues such as this one for Thursday’s “NASA to Reveal New Discoveries in News Conference on Oceans Beyond Earth” press event.

They are always filled with names, affiliations, specific instruments, buzz words, tantalizing hints, etc.

This makes it so much easier for me to use Google, preprint servers, and simple journalistic tools like email and phone calls to figure out what NASA is going to announce. Who needs embargoed papers? NASA loves to make the media play connect the dots. And if you follow these missions, then its even easier to play.

This advisory includes the sentence “NASA will discuss new results about ocean worlds in our solar system from the agency’s Cassini spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope” and lists participants including “Hunter Waite, Cassini Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer team lead at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Chris Glein, Cassini INMS team associate at SwRI”.

Duh “ocean worlds”, “Cassini” – they are talking about Enceladus. Hmm … 2 people who work with the “Cassini Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer”. Let’s do some Googling.

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SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.