End of the space shuttle

I never blogged about the end of NASA’s space shuttle program, but this spectacular photo essay reminded me how sad I am about it.

Admittedly I’m something of a geek in this area, but, man, do I looooove space. Love it. I remember being 11 or 12 and seeing ET with my parents for the first time. Afterward, I sat with my dad on the hood of our Dodge Dart and looked up at the sky. It was so enormous, and I couldn’t—and still don’t—understand how something goes on forever and ever and ever. “Maybe there’s, like, a brick wall at the end,” I said.

“So what’s behind the wall?” Dad countered.

Uh …

Maybe I’m wrong here (hell, hopefully I’m wrong here), but sometimes I feel as if this country has lost its sense of wonder. I mean, we’re huge into technology as it pertains directly to our needs (iPads, laptops, etc), but I’m of the belief that space holds so many answers to so many questions. It’s just a matter of looking. And looking. And looking.

Now, thanks to the economy and a general indifference, NASA’s budget is way down and talk of travels to Mars (and beyond) isn’t what it was.

Bums me out.

Oh, well. Have a great weekend, and thanks for speaking up this week. I got hammered pretty hard, but, hey, it’s all for sport …

7 thoughts on “End of the space shuttle”

  1. Most of the looking will be on those unmanned missions that go way out there. There’s just not that much within Earth’s orbit that we don’t already know.

  2. This is something we agree on. I still cannot believe the last moon landing was in 1973!!!!!!
    38 year ago!!! There should be hotels up there by now.
    I remember as a kid, a rep from NASA went to Mahopac Falls Elementary School to promote the space shuttle program. They asked if we had any questions and I asked when the next moon landing is and I was abruptly cut off and told not until the year 2000, Well…that decade came and went and no moon landing. I guess it was a Cold War priority to beat the Russians there after the embarrassment and fear of the Sputnik satellite launch.
    It is expensive though and the Cold War ended long ago. Hopefully, folks like Richard Branson will keep investing in this a someday make it affordable for our kids or their children to go into space as easily as it is for us to take an airplane now.

  3. I vote for unmanned missions. As Dr. K stated we already know all about space from orbiting the earth thousands of times.

    Space is not good for humans, but robots yes. Both the Space Station and the Space Shuttle are nothing more than welfare for engineers and I know I am one. Think of the better probes that could of been built. Funds should be spent on space but not on manned missions until the cost of getting to orbit goes way down.

  4. There was a Dan Brown novel that took on the issue of the possibility of NASA’s outliving its usefulness, but why space exploration shouldn’t be put into the hands of the private sector. I think it was Dan Brown’s best book. 🙂

  5. “…sometimes I feel as if this country has lost its sense of wonder.”
    We have lost our sense of wonder, that is why so few can believe in God.
    They build that brick wall between them and the end of the universe.

    1. jmw, that wasn’t quite where i was getting at.

      a strong argument can be made that our lack of intellectual wonderment coincides with a belief in god.

  6. It’s an intellectual brick wall.
    It amazes me how people will claim evolution is true, and demand proof of God, when there is no proof of evolution.
    Most of the EVIDENCE used as support for evolution can also be used to support an intelligent creator.
    In fact the ability of a creature to ADAPT to changing environments seems to point to God.
    The cornerstone of evolution is the observation that there are similarities in creatures that are related.
    When similarities in creatures that are not related are shown – such as the Camera eye found in both humans and octopuses – that old brick wall comes up.
    Convergent Evolution.
    It speaks of a creator.

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