When I was growing up, nothing was more important and profound to me than space travel. Yea, I was a little hippie punk who was very concerned about the state of our nation which was in total turmoil at the time. Social justice was and always has been very important to me, but at the time, the greatest adventures in human history were being played out right before our eyes. We could watch them live on the TV screen however b&w ands grainy they were. Early satellite launches (I remember the first time I watched a rocket blast off on TV) Alan Shepherd's first flight, the first space walks, the first Saturn V launch, the first men to orbit the moon (what Christmas eve that was), the first men to walk on the moon. . . they are all events ingrained indelibly in my mind.
Who wasn't awed by what was happening at the time?
But these things have been said over and over. It's old news. Mercury, Gemini and Apollo are legendary at this point and nothing I can say could move them any further in the social conscious.
Look around you. If it has a computer chip, it is something that owes it's origin to 60s space technology. Many of the materials we use in daily life are a direct result of solutions used for space travel. Imaging technology, telecommunications technology (your cell phone), GPS and many many more things we take for granted are a direct result of the technology developed for enabling us to travel into space.
We live in the age of Apollo. We should be known in future history as the Apollonians.
What happened? Why did it all come to a screeching halt? Imagine. Just imagine if you will, where we'd be if we'd continued our quest for adventure? What if we hadn't abandoned the magnificent Saturn Rocket for a 4.5 million lb. piece of shit?
Decades of precious space dollars have gone into funding a system that was antiquated before it was launched. Sure, it was a good idea, but it turned out to be expensive and not very effective. Three launches of a Saturn V rocket could have put the entire space station into orbit. Why was Saturn abandoned? Could it have been because certain politicians wanted an All-Amurkkkin space vehicle instead of one developed by a bunch of German rocket scientists? Uh huh.
Ironically, the next generation space launch system will be highly dependent on a modified J-2 engine which is the second stage engine of the Saturn invented and developed by none other than Werner Von Broun and his band of merry Germans in Huntsville, Alabama. Hell, the whole system being developed is nothing but a souped up Apollo system that was originally proposed by Dr. Von Braun in the 50s. So in the end, all those politicians and NASA administrators can kiss Von Brouns dead ass. After four decades of spinning our wheels, we're going right back to the concepts and hardware first proposed and developed by Von Broun. Arg. Sorta. A large number of current NASA scientists are proposing that the current Genesis concept that uses solid rocket booster (the kind responsible for the Challenger disaster) is not as good as one they have proposed that is very similar to the original Saturn system. NASA officials refuse to even look at these proposals. Hmmmmmm.
I am so frustrated and saddened by America's lack of interest ands commitment toward space exploration and development and the politics that have been injected into it all I've got little else to say. . . except, "Hey y'all, watch this!"