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September 21, 2012


When I was 12 I refused to let my Mom take me to school until after the Space Shuttle launched. I HAD to see it, as it happened! All the kids were late that day. A previous generation saw the moon missions. I had the Space Shuttle. I was sure that this meant we'd have space stations and a moon base and we would go to Mars. And, yes, have flying cars (expectations were set, dammit). That first launch was magical.

None of which happened (well, we got a space station, but I wanted a 2001: A Space Odyssey type thing. And stations at the Lagrange points.

But we did have the shuttle, and it was cool.

Today the Endeavor landed in LA, bound for its final resting place. A bunch of us at work got to see it fly right overhead as we gathered on the roof of our building. It was awesome. It was also more than a little sad. There are no more Shuttles, and no plans to create a replacement. No plans for a moon base. No plans for human exploration of Mars. People have given up on much of what made these programs exciting: we were going out there. People were going out there. The final frontier, boldly going, etc, etc.

I find it all very sad. And I still want a flying car.

Posted by ed at September 21, 2012 5:16 PM