science, spew

What happened to us?

I’m watching video from a time when we were capable of sending live television from the moon. We were capable of great things. How could we as a species do anything more enormous and impressive than convert weapons of extermination into vehicles of exploration?

Reach down into what makes me need to live another day. Tell me we will explore space again someday soon. Tell me we will be great again.

Losing my mom was difficult, but I’ll recover. Losing my space program makes me weep every time I think about what we gave up.

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2 thoughts on “What happened to us?

  1. Kate says:

    It’s good to read something on this issue that is so personal. It can’t just be measured in budgets. That said I go back and fro on this. I wonder, for example, if the cessation of the moon missions helped, rather than hindered, Hubble. At the same time there’s something very deep in the pit of my DNA that wants us to go somewhere new. Countering that is the knowledge that as a species we do tend to fuck up the new places that we go. And yet…..

    I saw a shuttle being prepped for launch when I was in my very early teens. I knew that these were scientific missions. I was enthralled by the possibilities. It also struck me even then – a time when I couldn’t understand why the world was such a fucking mess (including some rather nasty weapons pointing at places near my home – the ‘logic’ of deterrence still escapes me) that it was insane that we could devote such talent to this project and couldn’t find the talent to tackle the planetary mess.

    I still hope we have it in us to do both, if the planet we’re currently stuck on can sustain both.

  2. moeskido says:

    We can do both. But we’re frequently presented with false choices. There’s never enough money for pure research or public education, but huge subsidies for prosperous sectors like agribusiness and oil are easily attained.

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