Massaging the Gravity Probe B Results to Fit Einstein's General Relativity Theory
Thanks to David de Hilster who sent this "fair and balanced" assessment of the Gravity Probe B fiasco surprisingly offered by the mainstream media:
See the paragraphs near the end. Although the data and conclusions are very suspect, see the highlighted part below:
Quoted from end of article:
Some other scientists aren't sure how much they trust the corrections. Five years ago, Ciufolini notes, Gravity Probe B researchers were reporting uncertainties more than 10 times bigger. Correcting for such large "systematic errors" is tricky business, he says: "I don't know the details, but it seems to me very difficult to get rid of more than 90% of the systematic error."
The previous measurement also puts a damper on the new results. In 2004, Cifuolini and Erricos Pavlis of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, measured frame dragging by tracking the orbits of the LAGEOS and LAGEOS II satellites, simple reflectors launched in 1976 and 1992 and used primarily to monitor the motion of Earth's surface. By very carefully monitoring which way the planes of the satellites' orbits turned or "precessed," they measured the effect to 10% accuracy, largely stealing the thunder of the Gravity Probe B team in some researchers' opinions. "At best they've just confirmed the work Ciufolini did," says Robert O'Connell, a theorist at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. "So I find it a bit too much, all the hoopla" of a NASA press conference, he says.
In the end, Gravity Probe B's full value goes beyond the results of the experiment, Everitt told Science. "Why was it worth it?" he says. "Just the element of challenge in it, the element of invention in it. There was this constant challenge of inventing new technologies." He notes that 100 students earned Ph.D.s working on the experiment. Others offer a less favorable assessment. "This [$760 million] was government money," O'Connell says. "And to my mind it was misspent and poorly managed" by the government agencies involved.