Saturday, July 23, 2011

No Future?

A few days ago the space shuttle Atlantis landed on Earth for the last time. With that we (the USA) have retired our fleet (what's left of it) of shuttles and ended the American space program almost completely. NASA is a former shell of what it once was, devoting more time to climate change (a hoax) and making nice with muslims (that don't care). American, might, industry, ingenuity and pride are being swept out to sea. Thanks partly to the Bush and mostly to the Obama administration's murdering of our economy. 

The cost of the entire Apollo program and the Shuttle program combined is right at 400 billion dollars*. While  four of five years ago that may have seemed like a lot of money, keep in mind that Obama's failed stimulus that was supposed to keep unemployment under 8.5% cost 800 billion. So for half the cost of the stupid so called stimulus we put men on the moon and space ships going back and forth for 30 years. Add the ISS (international space station, that's called international but essentially we paid for and built the whole thing and let other countries paint their flag on.) in for another 100 billion and it's still sad. The future lies in space and America is giving the future away to China and Russia.

Russia is celebrating, they are now the kings of space and we have to pay them millions of dollars to take our astronauts out to the ISS. Far less glamorous than our shuttle, the principle of Russia's Soyuz rocket and capsule system for sending humans into space has changed little since Yuri Gagarin became the first man in orbit in 1961. Yep we're flying in over fifty year old Russian tech. But it's not that bad, last year they switched the Soyuz capsule from an anolog computer to a digital. Yeah last year...

So the question whether space exploration is really desirable at a time when so much needs doing on here on Earth comes to mind? It is a serious question that requires a serious answer. There are many arguments, from jobs and education to technology development and national security, for keeping us in space. Though one argument stands out, that argument is exploration, and that we should continue to challenge ourselves for the one basic reason; self-preservation as a free creative, intelligent society. As opposed to a stagnating, socialist slave society.

* All dollars adjusted for inflation to 2010.

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