Friday, July 08, 2011


I’m sad. I just watched Atlantis – the last space shuttle – take off. Is this the end of space exploration as we know it? Yes, I do miss the 20th century when I took acid and other men went to the moon. Once we had space ships. Now we have smart phones. And yes, I know all the whiney arguments about solving terrestrial problems before blasting off to Mars and beyond, but, damn it, I come from a culture that thought nothing about sailing off to the edge of the world just to find out what was there, and maybe indulge in a little piracy along the way.


Aleleeinn said...

I share your feelings Mick. I watched the moon landing on TV. Saw the first three US space flights as well.
Now like almost everything else in our society space travel will become a new toy for the rich. Private travel is developing and it, of course, will have no scientific value.
But at a deeper level space travel is merly another area of research that is being abandoned. The west, at least, no longer dabbles in pure research. Everything is now tied to shortter, monetary return. "If it don't pay big bucks in two years--don't do it." This is the current motto of scientific research.
I feel very much like Nietzsche seeing "the Last Man" all around me. No one can still give birth to a dancing star.

Munz said...

Right on, Mickey. The space program was thrilling for us young 'uns. It reminded all humans that -- in the immortal words of Lonesome Cowboy Bill -- we're here to go.

I was in the audience of Hair at the Aquarius Theater in Los Angeles when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in Summer 1969. One of the actors walked onstage during intermission: "It's my pleasure to announce that a man has walked on the moon." The entire audience -- freaks and squares alike -- jumped to our feet and applauded and screamed. In an era when we wanted nothing to do with the government, the space program allowed us to forget ideology and remember that we too are here to go.

nygrump said...

The Space Age is over. We're stuck in the gravity well.