Monday, October 29, 2012

SpaceX Dragon - mission accomplished

This is awesome. I am of a certain age that I can remember a time when landing men on the moon was something the USA could do with some regularity. At the time, it was generally accepted that the Soviets could probably do it too and eventually would. We also had supersonic air travel. Admittedly, flying on the Concorde was a rich man's game, but it held the promise of a bright future. Then came the space shuttle. There was also nuclear fusion, which they assured us, was only twenty years away. Could lunar bases and manned missions to Mars be far off? Where the heck did all that go? It's been forty years since a human has visited the moon. There's no more shuttle program. No SSTs. Nuclear fusion, they assure us, is still twenty years away. Instead of moon bases, the height of our technological advancement is the Chevy Volt and the iPhone.

Thankfully, it appears we are crawling out of this new Dark Age. The Chinese are talking about sending a man to the moon. While I certainly don't relish the thought of the future belonging to Communist China, it will hopefully spur western countries to reinvest in space exploration if we see a successful Chinese moonshot. In the meantime, American industry seems ready to keep things going for now. I doubt I will see a manned Mars mission in my lifetime, but it's enough to know we haven't completely abandoned the future


No comments: