Well tomorrow weather permitting a three decade old tradition will come to an end, a fiery end that once finished will result in a deafening silence where people will go to their homes as they do when all great things come to an end the American people will be left wondering. As July 8th will be the last launch of the Space Shuttle, the little program that couldn’t, but did and failed anyhow at the end of the day. It’s a complex story winding around three decades with over 130 launches, and two fiery mishaps where life’s where lost (Challenger and Colombia), yet it also saved the eye sight of mankind (Hubble) allowing us to further, and deeper than ever imaginable. A look at the Hubble Deep Space Image, where the telescope stared for time on end at empty space only to show the macro Cosum of where we’re were missing almost a kin to seeing the hand of the creator.
Yet in the end, what are the American people left with as what comes afterwards as the current administration has put the brakes on returning to the moon so we will even with our pedigree of being first, most likely end up staying at Chinese bases while catching a ride with the Russians as we have nothing. While I’m ok with farming out the commercialization of space to the private sector as the time has come, this should logically leave more money for funding discovery missions to the likes of the Red Planet. However now the American’s will have to take a back seat and watch other’s take the lead (I can’t believe I just typed that, but I did as it’s the sobering reality).
However to many this is a boom as they believe we should be spending this money on good old terra firma to feed the hungry and house the homeless. While both are noble the reality is these scourges have been with mankind since its dawn and they will continue. As until Dr Phil figures out a way to do away with self pity, apathy and a half dozen other personal demons we will still have the same issue even if we double, triple or quadruple the money the space program uses. As the other piece we forget isn’t the destination we seek, it’s the journey which galvanizes people, as while as great as Armstrong’s boot sinking into the lunar dust was for Mankind in the moment. We are still today reaping the reward the journey brought, from the amazing technology to the sociological bond of a generation to come together for a common goal.
As this is what America needs today, we need a race as challenge is good for the soul with competition being out the best in all parties the winner are the human race independent of nation as on a clear night. The people of the world can stare to the heavens at a brightly lit sphere over head and know mankind has stood there…