Happy Evoloterra

Happy Evoloterra folks! Today is a very special holiday that no one knows or cares about – the anniversary of the first moon landing. It was the first time in the history of mankind when an Earthling left his home planet and walked on a different world. Granted, that world was just our moon, but still – it was a hell of an accomplishment. Hell, I say it: it was the greatest accomplishment in the history of man.

This happened before I was born. And never within my lifetime.

Too bad we stopped doing this. I swear, this saddens me more than anything. Before I was born people were flying to that big rock in the sky on a semi-regular schedule. People were talking about lunar bases, manned trip to Mars and beyond. And then it got old. Astronauts stopped being treated as rock stars, media got tired of covering launches and landings or airing space-chatter. Budgets got cut and someone somewhere decided that sending people to the moon (cause fuck Mars, that’s too far away, no?) was not cost efficient or profitable enough. And so we stopped going.

One day when I have kids they will likely ask me why we have stopped going to the moon. What the hell am I going to tell them? I mean, I will have to somehow explain to them that the whole moon landing thing was just a pissing contest. We had to do it to prove that our capitalist dicks are collectively bigger than the communist dicks. We had to go to the moon because Russians wanted to do it before us. But we won and that was that. End of story.

Now we only fly into space to fix satellites and dick around in the space station doing some research stuff that better turn out to be super profitable cause if it doesn’t we are gonna drop that station into the ocean and never build another one.

When I was a kid, I thought that we will establish moon colonies within a lifetime. I thought that I will actually see a man set foot on Mars. It made sense – explore, expand, terraform, colonize. We were going to branch out and live on different worlds. Now I know this is not going to happen within my lifetime. Hell, it may never happen. Current trends indicate that our species collectively turned its eyes inward and away from the sky. We no longer yearn to be space explorers. If we wait until our sun is about to blow up to start thinking seriously about extra terrestrial colonization it will be a little bit to late. Besides, one large asteroid is all it would take to end our civilization right now. If we don’t reach out to the stars, we are doomed as a species.

But hey, not all is lost. Even though we sort of gave up on the whole space flight thing, doesn’t mean no one else is working on it. Other nations have space programs and the private sector is slowly getting involved. I guess someone just needs to figure out how to make money out of this and then the rest will just happen spontaneously.

I hate to think that extra terrestrial landings will be remembered only as that quaint and silly thing that people did in 60’s and 70’s.

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7 Responses to Happy Evoloterra

  1. Pingback: “I hate to think that extra terrestrial landings will be remembered only as that quaint and silly thing that people did in 60′s and 70′s.” | On the brink of something... UNITED STATES WordPress

  2. Mark UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Hey Luke

    I guess you’re not one for conspiracy theories then…..

    Anyway, if we don’t destroy ourselves first, then when we finally realise we must leave this planet to survive, at that point I suppose this day will be given the recognition it actually merits – even if the initial motivation was to beat the Commies to it!

    Here in the UK there was no mention of this oon the evening news – not even in passing. However, we did get an update on lindsay lohan.

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  3. ST/op DENMARK Google Chrome Linux Terminalist says:

    I followed every minute of the event on a black & white TV back in 1969… And sure, I got frustrated when manned flights were cancelled.
    But things have changed. Money are scarce. American astronauts now fly to the ISS in russian Soyuz spacecrafts… Who could have told!
    Still, the unmanned exploration of Mars has given great results. We probably know more about this complex planet than we know about the Moon, thanks to robotic probes. But I’m sure that we eventually will get there. “We” might well be japanese or chinese astronauts, after the recent cancellation of the Constellation program, but wtf!
    It will probably not be in my lifetime, though…

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  4. vacri AUSTRALIA Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    But it was just dick-waving. The only people who get excited about colonising Mars are a select subset of engineery folks. There’s no way we can get a meaningful amount of humans onto Mars to “preserve the species” even in the medium term. Not to mention the ‘preserve the species’ argument is an incredible flight of fancy in real terms.

    The value out of the moon program was the side technology. We didn’t get much information out of the activities performed on the moon itself. Space exploration isn’t entertaining anymore in the age of blockbuster movies, so there’s even less reason for the average Joe to be interested in it. It doesn’t help that the answer to the eternal human question of “what is the moon” is “dead dust”, a totally anticlimactic answer for non-engineers.

    Also, since the ’60s, it’s become clear that there’s a whole passel of psychology problems of isolating small groups of people for long times – it really is a hard thing to do. Remember Biosphere II? Didn’t work too well…

    If your kid asks you why, why would you feel ashamed about telling them the truth? If your kid asked you why you can’t be a dragonslayer would you feel ashamed about telling them that, too? Or for something a bit more feasible, would you be ashamed at telling your kid why you can’t ride a dinosaur?

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  5. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    ST/op wrote:

    It will probably not be in my lifetime, though…

    Yep… That’s what bothers me. We were doing it, and then we stopped and now alien worlds are just as far from being colonized as they were when we started.

    @ vacri:

    You are right – but those are all practical problems of manned space flight. They remain unsolved because no one is funding aggressive research into these areas. All these problems could have workable solutions.

    For example, the prohibitively expensive task of launching crafts into space could become almost nonexistent if we had a working space elevator. Yes, it would be an enormous cost to build one, but perhaps it would pay for itself once we started mining rare substances out there.

    The physical and psychological effects of space travel could be alleviated by constructing ships large enough to house stable communities, and provide artificial gravity via rotation.

    It’s not like no one is actually working on it. People are writing about it, publishing papers, coming up with theories and ideas. It’s just that no one is actually doing anything.

    Why? Because there is no money in it yet. I suspect that’s the biggest problem. Flying into space is expensive and doesn’t generate profits. And it won’t generate profits for a long time. As you said, there is just no reason for us to fly out there and colonize.

    I guess I’m just disappointed with this turn of events. When I was a kid, space colonies seemed like something that was within reach. Nowadays this seems like a far fetched science fiction. It’s a bit disheartening – that’s all.

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  6. MrPete GERMANY Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Oh well, that must have been one helluva exciting time!
    I read a book on the whole race to space. Twice when I was not even ten years old.
    But now… everyone’s complaining about how damn expensive everything above the atmosphere is.
    I think it’s a great thing that the private sector is taking care of space travel. I mean: Better a McDonalds on Mars than no humans above 30.000ft.
    If you watched the first five minutes of James Camerons Avatar you might have seen the interstellar ship.
    My thoughts on it? “Hell yeah, give the companies space and this is where we are in a hundred years!”

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  7. David UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    This is the same way it has always worked. There were a few minor expeditions to the Americas with some crazy explorers and religious seperatists but the ball really didn’t start rolling until people figured out money was to be made here.

    It will happen.. just give it to the companies and wait for the money to show up.

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