The People’s Space Program(s)

Blogonauts! Hey, so this is the 21st Century right? (I’m hoping that is a rhetorical question) Therefore, we should have all the cool things that we imagined would be here right? I have addressed this subject-soapbox before, but here is a recap (and a score card)

Things we SHOULD have in the 21st Century

1. Rayguns

Kirk Phaser

2. Robots

danger-will-robinson

3. Flying Cars

Jetsons

4. Spaceships

Spaceship

5. Aliens

Alien 1

Kirk and Gorn

So, how are we doing?

21st Century Cool Stuff For Everyone Scorecard

1. Rayguns: Nope. Not so much (laser pointers don’t count)

2. Robots: Well, kind of. We have machines that do stuff for us and ultra cool 4-tets such as this:

(The robot tuba player needs more time in the shed…just sayin’…)

But real-live artificial-intelligence-style “Danger Will Robinson” C3PO stand up George Jetson Maids? Not so much.

3. Flying Cars. Yes and No. the technology exists, but if you have ever seen Texas drivers in action….you know why this technology will NEVER be released to the general public. Self-driving cars? Well, ok I count that as a step in the right direction, especially because the development of such has inspired my all-time favorite commercial:

4. Aliens. Well, not officially. If you’re like me (and I hope for your sake that you are…just sayin’) then you believe in all conspiracy theories. To me, they are not theories…well most of them… But combine that with my firm belief in Occam’s Razor and , well…it narrows down the field quite a bit. That being said, yes, I believe we have been visited and that there are a select few here among us (Denver airport anyone?) But officially, unequivocally, empirically? Not so much.

5. Spaceships. TA-DA! YES! (DINGDINGDINGDINGDING!)

FINALLY! It seems that one of the things 13-year-old Stevie imagined would be here in the 21st Century is starting to become a reality. With the demise of the U.S. Space Program, it looked as though we were finished before we even got rolling! (NASA still exists, but OY! For someone who grew up in the 1960’s…GIMME a BREAK!) What up with THAT? (methinks a blog subject for another time…) But at last, the private sector is getting their game together.

With the advent of things such as Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and a number of other private sector efforts, it seemed to me that we might have a fighting chance. Although, I share the concerns of some that once the mission of space travel goes to the private sector… we could see problems. After all, money is the root of all evil (although it does come in handy when considering research and funding art projects…then there is eating and surviving…ok you get the drift…) Said concerns are voiced quite well in this article by Ian Ferguson from 2011.

But then along comes my boys at SpaceX.

Check out the new ride from SpaceX called the Dragon V2 (come on folks, The DRAGON V2…now THAT is a proper name for a spaceship!)

Click on the image below to see the video:

SpaceX J

How cool is THAT? Can we truly be on the verge of a new Space Age, but this time in the private sector? Is space travel safe in the hands of commercial entities? Where will all of this lead? HEY! That’s one of the reasons I started this blog…I want to learn from YOU: the great and powerful Blogosphere. Lemme know what you think.

Fire at will: Replies set to STUN!

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About swiest2

Steve Wiest is a Trombonist-Composer-Cartoonist-Author and Coordinator of The 21st Century Music Initiative at The Lamont School of Music: The University of Denver
This entry was posted in Science and Stuff..., Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The People’s Space Program(s)

  1. Hambone says:

    You would think space travel would follow the same model as commercial air travel, with only the very wealthy being able to afford it at first. But the difference is commercial air travel offered somewhere to go. In the absence of other known habitable planets, won’t space travel be like an insanely intense carnival ride? At first private commercial space travel will probably be taken up by millionaire (billionaire?) adventurers like Shackleton and Hillary during the 1920s and 30s, or that dude depicted in the movie “Contact.”

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