July 26, 2005
we are meant for more
I've been fascinated by the stars all of my life. I've read science fiction since I was a young boy and I stayed up all night to watch the first men walk on the moon. I don't know why we quit and lowered out sights the way we did with the space program. (No, that's not correct. I KNOW why, but I think it was a very poor decision.)
I believe that this is good news. It's about time, too.
Man has ALWAYS been an explorer. Only the pussies and the nay-sayers, the High Priests of DOOM and Luddites ever stood in the way of this instinct. Those pricks have been wrong every time.
What's out there? I'm gonna go see.
We've done it throughout history and we should do it again now, on the TRUE frontier. I may not get to go on the trip, but SOMEBODY should. That's what we're meant to do. The stars and planets don't just light up the night sky. They've always beckoned me.
And I know good and well that I'm not alone in feeling that way.
Some of the best times of my childhood were spent lying on the roof of my parents house, in the middle of the night with a pair of binoculars looking at the moon. Now I have my telescope and have seen far beyond the moon.
I missed the launch this morning but have seen a beautiful picture of it on the net.
I was less than a year old when they landed on the moon the first time. I hope I will get to see such an awesome event in the near future.
When we stop exploring, life gets boring.
Man is an inquisitive creature. Without frontiers and new horizons, we stagnate and die. Shame on us for going to the Moon and then doing nothing more with it for over 30 years.
There'll be a lot of pissing and moaning that the money is best spent here on Earth. Well, yeah, but our long-term future is among the stars...if it doesn't end in a radioactive slag-heap right here.
Damn right Rob. I've loved scifi and anything to do with space every since I could walk and talk. I watched them walk on the moon too. I still remember that day. I've always wanted to take a ride on the Space Shuttle. Might be dangerous but what a way to go huh?
Mr. hot-shot english major journalism school big mouth show off
go thing I have a master's degree
I saw Apollo 11 blast off. It was the biggest rush of my life. I want to go see my ancestors. When I return I'll tell all the ape descendants how fucking cool they are.
A "go thing" eh Beth?
What a fucking maroon.
Chablis, as I have always said everyone is good for something even if only to point out as a bad example to follow!
As Bugs would say, "What an ultra maroon. What an Eskimo Pie Head."
There's always been a lot of pissing and moaning that the money is best spent here on Earth. But cripes, look at what they spend it on! What Saddam & Koffing Anus pulled out of the UN alone would have financed a space shot or two, and done more good. People take a lot of things around them for granted. Where do they think these products came from? Well, it wasn't Gyro Gearloose thinking them up in his backyard.
If this is news to anyone, they could start by considering just the technology behind their being able to read this post.
I'm with you on this, Rob. And I totally get what Chablis is saying. I'm not ashamed to admit it, but I had tears in my eyes the day the shuttle burned up two years ago. To me, those seven astronauts? Those are heroes.
"But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?
Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard . . . "
Thank you, Tim Higgins, for the additional lines from JFK's speech at Rice. The line about why Rice plays Texas adds an insight into his oratory genius. The crowd burst into laughter, giving him a pause after which, at the timing of his choosing, he could deliver the most famous line of his speech: "We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hahd . . . "
The phrase "and to do the other things" refers to what would become the Great Society agenda. Even as late as the early 60's, the welfare state was regarded as a noble project to be tackled by noble men.
But how that as changed among the left! The caterwauling about how NASA's budget -- microscopic compared to those for social programs -- would better be spent solving -- insert your pet social ill here -- started in the mid-sixties. NASA was, in my opnion, politically dead in the water before the Gemini Program ended.
I've read that 90% of a program's budget is committed in the first 10% of its schedule. We as a nation lost our will to go to the moon before we got there. Apollo 11 was the result of inertia.
I am too young to remember the moon landings. But I started my career at the Johnson Space Center in the early '90s. There I followed the debates about whether to cancel the space station because I was working on it. There is one political speech that will forever stick in my mind. Some Dem from Michigan was condemning NASA.
But not for the usual reasons: that it diverts money from social programs, that it wastes money (and God knows, it does!), that it is dangerous, etc. No, the gyst of this speech was that in a world full of crime and poverty and death, NASA has the temerity to say, "Look up!" He said that with the passion of some mullah in the Middle East.
The JFK's in the world have been replaced by those who would damn Rob or anybody else for the very crime of dreaming. They are laying low for now, because W's plan calls for retiring the Shuttle. When the time comes to actually fund its replacement, they'll be back.