Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I've always been fascinated by space travel. It probably dates back to when I was younger and STAR WARS dominated every aspect of my imagination. As I got older, I was still interested in it, but kind of stopped following what was going on in the world of space exploration. I'd still read up on every NASA mission a little bit, but it didn't dominate my thoughts the way it did when I was 8 and running around my basement with a CHALLENGER toy.

Then, in February of 2009, when I read this article by Chris Jones, I started becoming a little bit obsessed with shuttles, rocket ships and space exploration all over again.

Since then, I've been toying with all sorts of stories and ideas revolving around the subject and when Atlantis launched the other day, I started thinking about it even more and started looking around the Internet and finding all kinds of stuff about it. It's been a little bit depressing to read about, since this generation doesn't really care about it the way I did when I was little.

I wonder if public schools took a break in whatever they were teaching that day to turn on the launch. I never missed one when I was in school. But that was a different time.

This is from an astrophysicist in New York as he vented about the end of NASA's shuttle program.

I know there's only so many times we can send people up to space only to come back either empty handed or with barely a sliver of new information, but it's still a little sad. It's hard to put something like this in perspective because space shuttles and NASA launches have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Of course there's been rough times, specifically in 1986 when the original CHALLENGER exploded a little over a minute after it launched and in 2003 when COLUMBIA disintegrated upon re-entry. I remember sitting on the floor of my Grandma's living room watching the news report, even though at 6 years old, I was still too young to completely understand what happened. It was probably worse for my parents who were in Florida at Disney World and saw the debris falling from the sky as they got off the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

But still, even with those accidents, and the inherent danger that came with launching a crewed flight to space, the space program has been huge part of this generation. Unfortunately, now that's over.

One of my favorite writers, Warren Ellis, a man who probably spends way more time than he should reading about space, technology and the future chimed in about it on his blog the other day.

And unfortunately, he's 100% right about everything he said.

Still, sad to see it go.

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