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Showing posts from July 17, 2011

Running away from the future

So the last ever Shuttle mission landed today. Forty years ago we were walking on the moon. Twenty years ago we were in orbit. Now we're grounded, in the west at least. Japan, China and India march on with their space programs, and Europe and America now rely solely on the Russians just to get into low earth orbit. The ultra conservative right are cheering because now they see this as no longer "wasting" money on "pointless" space programs (their words, not mine). That attitude would have been fun a few centuries ago. What would the world be like if the conquistadors, or Columbus, had looked west across the ocean and said "I think we'll just stay in tonight" ? It bugs me immensely that Obama cancelled the Orion program. I like him as a president but his decision to basically shut down NASA boggles the mind. Are we suddenly afraid of spending money on science? Of course the usual argument is "it could be being used on more socially responsible…