NASA to Put Muslim on Moon Using Muslim Technology

NASA engineers are already "close to testing" a solid rocket booster powered by combustible animal dung, and operated according to principles discovered by Ibn Al-Haytham, Islam's best-known scientist, who died in 1039 AD.

Scott Ott reports:

Echoing the words of President John F. Kennedy in March of 1961, President Barack H. Obama told a joint session of Congress, “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal of landing a Muslim on the Moon, and returning him safely to Earth using only Muslim technology.”

According to Mr. Bolden, NASA engineers are already “close to testing” a solid rocket booster powered by combustible animal dung, and operated according to principles discovered by Ibn Al-Haytham, Islam’s best-known scientist, who died in 1039 A.D..

While President Kennedy put a 10-year deadline on his moon-landing challenge, President Obama said he hopes to achieve this new daring goal “before the millennium is out.”

That might be too soon.

On a serious note, it’s truly remarkable that, not all that long ago in the grand scheme of things, the Islamic world was light years ahead of the West in almost every way.  But they’ve intentionally stood almost still.

FILED UNDER: Humor, Science & Technology, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. john personna says:

    It could happen to us, yet.

    (Science is the devil.)

  2. GS says:

    Eh, Joyner, as I’ve mentioned before, Islamic civilization is my area of study, and while I do hate to break the PC narrative, the Muslim world was not “light years” ahead of anybody. Most of what is accredited to Muslims was in fact Chinese or Indian in origin. Muslims deserve a great deal of credit for compiling and preserving so much Greek, Chinese, and Indian knowledge, but that doesn’t mean that they were making breakthroughs left and right. It should also be mentioned that the most frequent credits given Muslims for their “Golden Age” are to ibn Sina (Avicenna) and his treatises on medicine, and algebra as formulated by al-Kwarizmi. But Avicenna built his work off of Greek and Indian knowledge, mainly compiling information. It also should be pointed out that the Ummayad Caliphate in Spain was the only Muslim principality that allowed Avicenna any contact with actual bodies for medial research. al-Kwarizmi also stood on the shoulders of giants, and the earlier works by Diophantus are more well-developed than al-jabra.

    As far as the cultures went, as you well know, history is written by the victors and so for years the Ottomans, the Ummayads, and the Persians were free to propagate the idea that the Muslim world had been endlessly tolerant. There is absolutely no evidence, given first-hand accounts now available, that the Muslim world was any more tolerant than the Medieval West, and in many cases, was considerably less so. Again, the Spanish Caliphate was an outlier, but they were also considered apostates by the Gulf Caliphate, and while they were more tolerant of Jews than the Spanish kingdoms, both the anti-semitic nature of the Spaniards and the Jew-friendly nature of the Ummayadds are greatly overstated. In reality, Jews suffered under the rule of both groups.

  3. James Joyner says:

    I’m no expert in Islamic culture or the origins of scientific knowledge. I was just making an observation about the relative modernity of the two civilizations circa the Crusades.

  4. Michael says:

    al-Kwarizmi also stood on the shoulders of giants

    That is the nature of science, nobody works in isolation, every major breakthrough has been the result of a slight divergence from prior knowledge.

  5. matt says:

    Well a conservative’s paradise results in severe stagnation so what do you expect?