|A Shaming Anniversary
||[Jul. 3rd, 2009|10:02 am]
40 years since Armstrong's giant step- and we've been shuffling our feet ever since. Yes, we've built a space station, landed robots on Mars and sent probes to the outer planets, but where's the lunar colony that Kubrick and Clarke envisaged us building by 2001? Where are the manned expeditions?|
I believe we've let ourselves down.
Just a few days ago I bought the special edition DVD of 2001. It had one whole disk of extras, such as interviews with Clark and other space experts.
It's funny to hear Clark and the other talk about evolution and space ... "the next step in our evolution is space." They made evolution seem planned and progressive - which it's not.
Evolution is adapting to the environment. The great leap from the sea to the land was because the sea is such a deadly place that being a land dweller was more adaptive (read, survivable).
If space is our next evolutionary leap it will be because we have made the earth such a deadly place that living in space is more adaptive.
And so far, we've done a great job of that.
I've been guilty of the same loose thinking- saying "evolution" when I really meant something much more nebulous like "progress".
The 60s were a "can-do" decade. These days our science fiction movies are apocalyptic. It's unlikely that 2001 would get greenlighted today.
2009-07-03 01:20 pm (UTC)
To be fair there's not much on the moon to interest your average Joe. We'd do better to colonise un-colonised parts of Earth, at least the oxygen and temperatures would be more agreeable.
You're probably right.
I grew up enthralled by the romance of space travel. Dan Dare and Star Trek and all that. For my generation it was enough that space was "there".
The media must be working up to an anniversary, because I was thinking about this too. In fact I wrote a poem about my memories of the event and I will go and post it on my LJ right now.
Yes, the 40th anniversary of the landing is later this month.
I'll trip over and read your poem.
Yes, we've built a space station, landed robots on Mars and sent probes to the outer planets, but where's the lunar colony that Kubrick and Clarke envisaged us building by 2001? Where are the manned expeditions?
I think about this a lot. And I'm still annoyed.
I miss the romance of space. I want that glorious future back.
It WAS glorious, wasn't it? Our grandchildren cannot begin to imagine the thrill I (we) experienced when I watched Armstrong step out onto the moon's surface with his "one small step ... one giant leap" comment. Strange, isnt it, that our Government was able to afford a trip like that back when there was so much less money in circulation, while today they are having a problem finding money for even some of the basics?
Governments can always find money for the things they really want to do.
Right now space exploration isn't on the list.
I agree, and now that I'm older, the chances of those exciting adventures happening in my lifetime are fading. Such a disappointment.