Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Moon Madness

Forty years ago a man walked on the moon. An amazing feat, to be sure, and there has been a lot of news over the past week reviving the old footage and stories and such... but, what's the point?

Yes, we like round numbers, so 40 years, instead of 39 or 42, but is it just that we are in a more communication possible world that we are getting all this celebration now?

To be honest, in another 40 years, are we going to be simply celebrating this again, or will we have new achievements to talk about?

Since then, we have an International Space Station, and tons upon tons of more satellites and other space junk, but nothing really epic any more. There is talk of going to Mars, but that is unlikely to happen any time soon due to the distances and radiation evolved.

More reasoned discussion is a moon colony, which is where I might hope that we might have been by now. This is really the next step, trying to set up some self-sustaining colony that isn't on earth, but not too far away (if a few days travel could be considered 'not too far away', but certainly easier to get help to than the months to Mars). But there's no sign of this happening any time soon either.

And I don't think NASA will be the next big player, it's just too hamstrung by administration and being tied up by the government. Private companies are getting in to it, and they'll likely be the source of major developments...

In shorter, take a look at Bullsh*t's view of NASA, sums up a lot of these points. Part I, Part II, Part III.


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