NASA is going woke.
The space agency announced this week they would engage in political correctness when referring to planets, stars, galaxies, and other cosmic bodies that have been given what some people might consider “actively harmful” names.
“As the scientific community works to identify and address systemic discrimination and inequality in all aspects of the field, it has become clear that certain cosmic nicknames are not only insensitive, but can be actively harmful,” NASA said in a press release on Wednesday.
“NASA is examining its use of unofficial terminology for cosmic objects as part of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the agency added.
The Eskimo Nebula. (Andrew Fruchter/Ero Team/NASA/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)
So far, NASA has targeted two cosmic objects for immediate changes.
Planetary nebula NGC 2392 will no longer be called by its unofficial name, “Eskimo Nebula,” while NGC 4567 and NGC 4568 — a pair of spiral galaxies — will no longer be called the “Siamese Twins Galaxy,” the agency said.
According to NASA, the word “eskimo” is offensive because it “is widely viewed as a colonial term with a racist history, imposed on the indigenous people of Arctic regions.
While “Eskimo Nebula” and “Siamese Twins Galaxy” were the only two cosmic objects for which NASA announced changes, the agency indicated they would work with “diversity, inclusion, and equity experts in the astronomical and physical sciences” to identify other planets, stars, and galaxies with “inappropriate” nicknames.
What was the response?
The agency was widely panned and mocked on social media over its announcement.
- “Your job, @NASA, is to explore space & understand the cosmos.
Not to appease the woke cult through virtue signalling,” one person said.
- “could you just, I don’t know, focus on safe space travel? you know, Math? not worrying about the ethnicity of the person who is best at…you know…math? cause political correctness is nowhere near as important and the accuracy of the trajectory,” another person responded.
- “There goes Black Holes,” one person mocked.
- “My God, even you have been compromised. We are done for. Its been a fun ride folks,” another person mocked.
- “If NASA goes woke it’ll be the beginning of the end for them,” one commenter predicted.
- “Dear NASA: Will you also address the following hurtful and insensitive terms: Big Bang Theory, Uranus, black holes, dwarf stars, and dark matter,” another person mocked.
- “Renaming black holes will end racism. Guaranteed,” another person mocked.