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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Grist for the Mill » Last Mission

Author Topic: Last Mission
Member # 9148

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Very much would have liked to be there.

[ October 13, 2012, 11:35 PM: Message edited by: LDWriter2 ]

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Robert Nowall
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I mourn for the US space program...
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Member # 9757

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Our space program is in better shape now than it was. We have four companies competing for NASA's business, and at least one of them has a prototype space station of its own under construction.

Our eggs are no longer in a single basket, subject to the whims of politicians. I have faith in human greed. It built Alexander's empire. It built the Roman empire. It built the age of European expansion and the British Empire. It motivated the voyage of Columbus, and ultimately was the reason that most of us live here, fat and free, instead of starving in some hovel in Europe still muttering about divine right of kings.

It built the transcontinental railroad. In fact, it pretty much built human civilization. Trust greed, It ain't pretty, but it works.

Shoot, I am willing to bet that Cro-Magnon left Africa because they wanted to find richer hunting territories and fatter antelope.

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Robert Nowall
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Well, whatever comes of these companies competing, I don't expect anything from NASA these days. Be it cancelling the replacement for the shuttle while going ahead with its retirement, or having agency heads say their purpose is Muslim outreach, it depresses one's opinions of the agency in quesion.

I really hope some of those private space organizations get something going that doesn't involve NASA.

Either that, or I hope China has better luck with space than the USA did...

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For the past few decades NASA hasn't really accomplished much aside from launches and space missions that were basically photo ops to tell their bosses they were still relevant and their paychecks justified.

Rather than wasting money on pointless missions to test first grade science projects and give the program the chance to publicly shake hands with important politicians, they could've been saving money for major endeavors that actually could've led to something.

I think the popularity of sci-fi died when people realized space exploration wasn't happening any time in the near future. As well as changing socio-political factors that shifted people's interests from a forward-looking, bright future to more escapist tropes, and then finally to fatalist stories such as post-apocalyptic.

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Actually, I see this as a great thing for space exploration. This will create the demand for more private space projects. The pioneers of flight and of the automobile were not government officials, they were entrepreneurs and businessmen like Elon Musk and Richard Branson, and I see this as NASA getting out of the way. NASA did some great things, but when you try to milk an old cow, you are bound to go thirsty.
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