I’m a nerd and I love NASA. I love it so much; I subscribe to their vodcast (I hate that word). But the sad fact is that there hasn’t been much of a reason to put men (in the gender-neutral sense) into orbit since Skylab crashed back to Earth.
There is research to be done, and obviously we need to figure out how to deal with the long-term effects of weightlessness if we’re ever gonna get off this doomed shithole of a planet. But we’ve learned more from Voyager, Viking, Venera, Spirit, Opportunity, Cassini-Huygens, and countless other robots than all of the golf balls swung by dudes on the Moon.
Men in space is cool, but until we find a way to get there cheaply and make interplanetary travel much quicker (Ion drive baby!), we’re just jerking off into the aether. Wake me up when New Horizons gets to Pluto.
UPDATE: It’s weird that the day I posted this, I came across this article about the Aldrin Cycler. Interesting stuff. I hope it gets put to use in my lifetime.
Next Week: Down and Out in Mesopotamia