Over the Moon

I missed covering this news item a couple months back at the last launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. But, NASA’s recent announcement concerning the final resting place of its remaining space shuttles has given me occasion to address it. NASA is discontinuing its space shuttle program. Why exactly NASA has to wholesale abandon entire genre of spacecraft is beyond my ability to guess. It’s a little known fact that we couldn’t get back to the moon today if our continued existence depended on it. They dismantled the necessary apparatus decades ago.

Anyway, the announcement drew some ire for having not included Houston as a destination. Without knowing all the facts, I would have to agree that it seems a regrettable slight.

The Space Shuttle defined a generation, in tragedy and hope. The great interstellar Orca.

President Obama has championed legislative initiatives, which have, and will, continue to move us towards commercial space flight. I’m excited for it. My hope is that the direction will only increase the chance that our kids and their kids will travel with increasing frequency as passengers and pilots. It’s on my bucket list too. When this rap news blog thing starts raking in the cash, I’m booking a flight out of the New Mexico terminal (oh the irony).

But, as always, there are two sides to every matter. Many think the privatization of our space program is detrimental to a healthy and controlled exploration and an affront to the institutional expertise and dedication of NASA’s excellent personnel over these many years. My Uncle-in-Law is a retired rocket scientist from NASA. I think his views on it are mixed to say the least. Like with commercial air flight, there is likely some balance of government regulation/participation/oversight and the sort of private enterprise and ingenuity, which has been the engine for all of our significant progress and innovation.

Take me back to the moon.

Performed by ipoet. Music produced by Sundance.

Today’s song blog here:

Private Rocket

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