I was on vacation in Florida in 2000 and got to watch STS-99 launch on Endeavor. As she climbed the tower of smoke I was surprised to find I was weeping. Then I noticed I wasn't the only one in the crowd who was so moved.
It kills me that some of my environmentalist friends can't understand this longing.
I don’t think that one can seriously contemplate the mid-range future of humanity without contemplating what sort of role space exploration will play in it.
Since I can’t vote in these polls, i’ll just give my opinion.
I can’t say I’d really be all that interested Rabbit. Not out
of fear though. It’s not that it wouldn’t be exciting and all
that, but really I find the earth itself infinetly more beautiful
and exhilarating than anything in space. I truly can’t imagine
a world more magnificient than our own. It’s just the humans
who spoil it that suck eggs. No Rabbit, this planet is my home
and my beloved. I dread the thought of the day I will parted
from her. I dread thought of day when she too will die. Such
thoughts are only one more demonstration of the unspeakable
horror of existence. Now you can why I so earnestly hope there
is some joyful answer to all this beyond the one provided by
material science(which is not joyful at all, IMO.) This life, for all
it’s joys and triumphs, is ultimately a veil of tears. I live it really
with only one distant hope. I know i’ll be criticized, laughed at,
called stupid, naive, weak, etc…..by all those hard-boiled ,Nietzcsche-loving,pompous,materialists out there.
They can take that pound of powder and blow themselves
into the nothingness they find so “liberating” and glorious.
It seems a shame that I was born too soon. When I was in my teens I was thrilled when we landed on the Moon. I’m disappointed that our ambitious manned space exploration program was allowed to wither into the dull shuttle progam. But eventually we will venture into space again. Sometime within the next two hundred years, Mars will have thriving colonies. Who can imagine what will be possible a thousand years from now. The Earth is undeniably beautiful, but human beings need to see the rest of the Universe.
If I had started Microsoft & billions of personal funds, I would go to NASA & offer to fund one more moon shot. I think there is still one more fuctional peice of every componant necessary & I want to ride the right seat. I have been saying for years that I would give 5 years of my life for that opportunity. What an adventure!
If I live long enough, perhaps I might have an opportunity yet, if space gets commercial - and cheap enough. I got to see a shuttle launch as well, my company, as a contractor, had some freebie VIP tickets. I was weeping as well - it was an experience I will never forget. Wish I could have been there for a Saturn!
I was in high school during the beginning of the Mercury program, and got quite caught up in the whole thing. IMHO, the space program in the 60’s was America’s finast hour. It makes my heart a little sick that we have no leader, and no such national goal. This country can do anything it sets its mind to, if not fettered as it is now by superstition and fear!
End of soap box. Thanks for the poll, and for enlivening a working Saturday afternoon.