Monday, July 03, 2006

Okay, now what?

I recently saw these pics from NASA visualizing their revised designs for space exploration. (The pic at left is one of them. Go ahead and click it see the hi-res version.) I love all things about space... I'm a severe Trek fan, after all. Still, as I'm looking at this picture, I'm thinking—okay, cool, but... so what? Haven't we already been to the moon?

There are arguments, I'm sure, why we should go back to the moon. Technology is better, we're just starting to understand things with science that we never have before... I get all that. I simply haven't heard any of the reasons why we would spend billions of dollars to go back, when we can redirect some of that moola to, say, reducing global warming on our own planet. The space station, at least, is a good testing ground for scientific experiments. The moon is just a big rock, in my view.

Maybe I'm getting old, but I feel like there are certain things I can visualize well enough that I won't have to do them in real life. I'm not counting my visit to the Mayan pyramids—it's far too humid to not experience that for yourself. It's simple things like, I wonder what it would be like to stand up there? and I've done enough similar things that I can close my eyes and imagine it to my satisfaction.

Egads, just listen to me today! Most of the dramatic discoveries happened amidst directionless exploration. When the Europeans discovered the American continent, for instance. Maybe there are rock samples on the moon that will help us gain a better understanding of Earth's geology. I hope so. What we should really be doing is terraforming Mars to colonize it. And pronto.

In other news, Dave and Nancy had their baby:

I guess children are the greatest exploration of all, huh?

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