Thursday, July 21, 2011

An Era Ends

And with that, the Space Shuttle Program is over. This mission has been going on since before I was born; it's weird to think that I now live in an America without NASA Shuttle launches. I wonder how much of our exploration future is in the hands of private companies vs. whatever they decide to pursue at NASA. I think this program went on far too long; it's past time for this to come to a close. But I can't stop thirsting for the next step. And since there isn't a clear direction, I can't help feeling like either we've been defeated, or our nerve has given out.

2 comments:

jaundicedi said...

For someone like myself, who grew up watching the Mercury and Gemini launches, there is no doubt. We have traded a thirst for knowledge and exploration for war without end.

How sad.

Jake said...

I have a good friend that has worked in the space industry and a very general thinking in the private entities is that they shut it down so they can clean house at NASA. It has become a place of "stay the course" and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Innovation has disappeared as the old guard has become more and more entrenched.

As an example, our smart phones have more computing power than the computer on the shuttles do. Let me repeat, our phones.

Most private contractors believe that with the budget crunch it was the perfect time to shut it down and "save" some money while the next steps are contemplated with a new focus and new personnel.

I hope that's true as the ability and desire to explore is one of the great gifts that mankind has over other animals.