Strange Brouhaha

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Last Flight of STS 51-L

It's the 20th anniversary of the Challenger explosion.

So let's talk about manned spaceflight.

It's been thirty years since we've seen the moon. Where's my moonbase? That's what I want out of spaceflight. Sticking to LEO and doing flatworm experiments and repairing satellites and doing cargo runs to the ISS is fine, I guess, but it also seems like a huge waste when we could be out exploring the solar system. The shuttle is something we should be using to haul things up to a space station for transfer to space freighters on regular runs to the Moon and Mars, it should be a transfer vehicle.

We should have a permanent Mars facility by this time, too. Rovers are all fine and good--I know that folks like Bob Park think that all exploration should be done robotically--but imagine what kind of rovers we could build if we didn't have to worry about them having to survive reentry and bouncing around in an airbag sandwich.

Of course, there's no way that's going to happen now, not with hundreds of billions of dollars that we "didn't have" when it came to science, education, welfare, social security and medicare (and the list goes on and on) being spent on Halliburton. I mean, the "effort to bring democracy to Iraq, with Iran and Syria to follow." Well, no, I mean Halliburton.

I seem to have diverged from my intended topic. C'est la vie, I guess.

3 Comments:

  • I'm definitely with Bob Park on this. Imagine how many different kinds of rovers we can design if we don't have to worry about generating oxygen, and keeping humans from going batshit on the two year flight from earth, and having all this open space so humans can move around.

    Our technology will continue to get more and more robust, our engineering solutions for dropping that technology on other planets will get more and more creative, and humans will continue to need air and space and food.

    By Anonymous david adam edelstein, at 5:22 PM  

  • Yeah, but you just know that there'd be a small but intense subset of human beings who would not *care* about going batshit on the two-year voyage because they were *already* batshit, and would happily live out the rest of their days in a small building as long as they could look out the hermetically-sealed window at the landscape of Mars. We know who these people are; they're the same lunatics who went to the moon. They are out there, they would give their lifesblood to live on Mars or the moon if they could, and I say, give 'em a chance.

    By Blogger Savannah, at 6:23 PM  

  • I want to see real people go there for science. I want to see people go there for *art*. I want to hear from an actual person *there* what it's like. Pictures and recordings and data are great, but it's almost like it's not real until you hear what a person has to say.

    By Blogger Robert, at 10:28 PM  

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