Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Season 6 Episode 3

NASA

0
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jul 03, 2008 on Showtime
6.9
out of 10
User Rating
22 votes
2

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Episode Summary

EDIT
In episode 603, it's time to take a closer look at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a government agency that spends scads of taxpayer money to achieve what private industry might be able to do more profitably and efficiently.
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  • One of the things I like about this show is when they challenge my previously held beliefs. As a big supporter of NASA, I found this troubling and persuasive.

    8.6
    The thing about this episode is that P&T make it clear that they love space exploration, have been inspired by the space program and think much of what NASA does -- particularly in science, is outstanding. But they also point out that it has positioned itself politically, is prone to the groupthink and refusal to acknowledge error that plagues government programs and is hideously expensive.



    No, they aren't arguing that Richard Branson can compete with NASA *now* (although they do point out that NASA is shifting more and more to private contractors). But they do point out the growing commercial interest in space and the potential of industry to take over a lot of NASA's duties.



    The best part of the episode is when they detail the arrogance and groupthink that led to the shuttle disasters. You can read "Wisdom of Crowds" to find more details about how NASA could have prevented these tragedies, but was too devoted to making sure the mission took off and making sure no one gainsaid the leadership.



    The interviews with the kids was a little dumb and I'd like to have seen something about preventing asteroid hits. But this is a good episode. I don't know why it's rated so low. Oh yes I do. They detail it in the opening scene. People hate it when it's *their* sacred cow getting kicked.moreless
  • Worst Bs episode ever made.

    1.4
    I'm a fan of the show and have watched it from day one. But this one was horrible, they basically had no material to work with and basically were lying through omission. You can't compare bransons spaceshipone that barely touches the border of space with two tourists on board and doing nothing more than that to a space shuttle capable of lifting school bus sized telescopes to orbits 5 times higher than bransons ship goes. Of course one costs much more than the other. It was an absurd episode that was disappointing, they should have just scrapped it. I hope this doesn't mean they are running out of decent material.moreless

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