Sunday, August 26, 2012

One giant leap for mankind...and then a stumble

Neil Armstrong passed away yesterday, a little more than 43 years after he was the first person to walk on the moon.  That was a great moment in space exploration, but what have we done since then?
In the years since the Apollo missions ended, no human has left the orbit of the Earth.  We've built a bloated and over budgeted space station, which although important, has taken up too much of the focus of the space programs.  By now, we should have visited Mars, and yes, I think it's great that our rovers are out there doing the exploring for us, but human beings could do a better job.  Yes, it's more expensive, but the benefits from the space program have been huge.  And if you don't think so, think about the microchips that have been developed as a result of the space program...think about the pharmaceuticals that have been developed as a result of the space program...think about velcro!
The human race needs to go to the stars, and now the United States doesn't even have plans for manned missions in the near future.  Our species can not survive as long as we stay confined to this tiny blue dot, and we need to move out to the stars, but the vision seems to have left us.
The loss of Neil Armstrong is certainly a sad event, but so is the loss of our goals to explore and colonize space.  Without those, we will be in a lot of trouble...


2 comments:

D. Moonfire said...

I've always been sad that we don't seem to be interesting in moving off the planet. And then cutting the budget because space isn't really profitable (yet).

One reason I get so excited about the X Prize and related things.

J Erwine said...

Eventually it will be the corporate world that takes us to space. Although I think that's better than the government...I'm not sure how much better...