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« If you build it, they will vote. One. | Main | Nothing nice SHOULD be said. Not one nice thing. Even if there was one nice thing to say »


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And with good reason; there's simply no there there.

The additional difficulty of putting a live human into space jacks up the cost several orders of magnitude, and the risks (Challenger, Columbia) are extraordinarily high. Plus, frankly, there's nothing within practical human-manned spacecraft range worth exploring that a robot can't do as well or better.

The only real argument for manned space exploration at this point is emotional. "It's inspiring!" "It's aspirational!" "It unites us!" But the real point of the Apollo program is that is DIDN'T "unite" us beyond a hockey-game-chanting of "U!S!A!"; it was part of the Cold War and when the cost exceeded the propaganda value it was killed.

I was a kid of the Apollo years, and I'm kind of nostalgic for them. And I'm a science fiction reader, and I love the idea of space travel. But I'm also a scientist, and have to face the brutal reality that we're not going to jump over Einstein's wall. There's no "warp drive"; the closest star is unreachable short of the construction of a massive self-sustaining argosy that is itself a contradiction in terms.

But I do love the detail of paying fifty cents a night for the room in the capsule.

Ken Muldrew

Maybe if they had charged them a little more Nixon wouldn't have shut down the program. BTW, Apollo 11 is well worth watching if you haven't seen it yet. Beautiful images.

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