Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A Boring New Era of Space Exploration!

Today, NASA announced the rocket and crew vehicle that will take Ameri-humans back to the moon in 2018. They're serious about promoting this - if you go to the website, it's very clearly and very bigly the first thing they want you to see.

If you think this looks very familiar, you're right - the new "Crew Exploration Vehicle" looks largely like the Apollo Command/Service modules and the Saturn V rocket.

If you have Flash, be sure to check out the Flash feature. The "Cargo Upperstage QTVR" is the most phallic spaceship in the long and glorious history of Phallic Spaceships.

The reaction of the pubilc at large has been a barely stifled yawn. True, we have much more pressing things to worry about right now. But if NASA can't even manage top billing on Google News (even the afternoon they announced the program), they have a lot of work to do convincing the public, and even convincing other space scientists.

I do believe that some manned space exploration is necessary for the future of the world, although I question the wisdom of doing it right now, when robots are doing such a good job for so much less money. In the future, I think private industry will work with NASA for manned exploration.

But in the meantime, let me ask a question.... if we can afford $100 billion for a Crew Exploration Vehicle, and $87 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, can we really not afford $1.6-2.3 billion to save the iconic Hubble Space Telescope?


Blogger Tom Bozzo said...

Sweet FSM, they just took the cover art from Sigue Sigue Sputnik's "Sex Bomb Boogie" for that cargo upper stage, didn't they?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 3:39:00 AM  
Blogger Ken Houghton said...

The Hubble contributes to basic research. The CEV distracts people from basic realities by pretending to offer hope.

Of the other, I am not qualified to comment, having snarkily noted at the time that I expect history to repeat itself in both cases. (The latter has proved all too accurate, and I stand by my Taliban-resurgent-compared-to-corrupt-leaders declaration, though it may take until 2008 or 2009 instead of 2007.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 7:49:00 AM  
Blogger Drek said...

Goddamn this is ridiculous. "A new era of space exploration?" As long as by "new" they mean "the nineteen-sixties."

Then again we had a lot of wasteful foreign adventurism going on then too.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005 9:11:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Bozzo said...

Looks like we won't have to be worried about being bored, since the Republicans are apparently already planning to kill the mission to pay for hurricane relief.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 10:02:00 AM  

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