THE FINAL FRONTIER, ETC.

Posted in Rants on August 17th, 2007 by Ed

So I really liked the format of last week's Harry Potter: WTF entry. I bring up something that puzzles me, and the comments leap into the breach to clear the air. I liked it so much I may make a habit out of it.

Why don't people give a shit about the space program anymore? I understand the obvious arguments about the exorbitant costs outweighing the benefits combined with the lack of "exciting" new developments akin to landing on the moon. But….the idea of sending people into space is really cool. I can't argue that it's productive, efficient, or worth anything at all to society. But I refuse to say that it's not kinda neat.

I understand why people think it's a stupid waste of money, but I don't understand why spacewalks aren't worth 20 seconds on the news. When I was a youngin' we used to get out of class to watch Space Shuttle launches (and let me tell you, that policy fuckin' backfired when a bunch of 7 year-olds were confronted with an exploding Challenger) and now I don't think anyone even realizes when it happens. It's pretty sad, in my humble opinion, that we're so jaded. I'm not sure what it'll take to impress people these days, but apparently launching humans into the vacuum of space and returning them to Earth safely (most of the time) just doesn't cut it.

Am I just puerile and easily amused or is the idea of sustaining life in space still, you know, worth an occasional moment of awe?