Ground Control to Major Tom

Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages….

The shuttle Atlantis is now orbiting Earth for the last time. By year end, the entire US space program will be shut down. Grounded. These were the voyages.

It’s a blow. No more moon landings. One of the few good things that survived the Bush Administration.  One of the few positive ideas that President Bush ever had. Reminiscent of a long time ago, in a galaxy, far, far away. Luke Skywalker, staring in to the double sunset on Tatooine, longing for adventure. Looking to the stars.

The truth is out there. Humanity’s greatest achievement – exploring.

I was raised on Star Trek reruns. My wanting a film career stemmed from seeing Star Wars. Wow. I practically lived at (actually volunteered) the local planetarium during my University years. I loved cosmic geology. I loved to spend hours staring through the high-powered telescopes. I felt so small the first time I viewed Saturn and its rings.  Touching a moon rock? Cool. I was thrilled at spending time with people who worked on the US shuttle program, the astronauts I got to meet. Fascinating conversations.

My interests then developed in to learning about string theory, the multi-verse. Quantum cosmology. My pea-brain sought out p-branes. I soaked it all up.

Space is the final frontier. The wild west of modern times. An escape from the Ayatollahs – who may finally learn to lock and load and send the planet in to destruction. Whatever space station exists now is the hope for humanity. And its destructiveness.

The 90s were fraught with conspiracy and alien abduction. The zeitgeist of the times. Roswell came back. Aliens were back in vogue. A political response to the changing times. We knew everything, or did we?

I envied those who ‘claimed’ to be ‘abducted’. How lucky for them. No getting a PhD in theoretical physics, no gruelling astronaut training. Just the adventure of a lifetime. Wide-open galaxies. An eager tourist. Camera-ready. Getting on to the mother ship. Infinity and beyond.

And then came 9/11. The world shifted.

A new awakening with the Mars landing. Spirit and Opportunity. The new hope for humanity. The great adventure/exploration continues.  The mysterious red planet. So alien.  Solving the mystery of the Mars ‘face’.

Time to go back to the mysterious moon. The 1960s seem so far away. A small step for man, a giant leap for mankind. About time. Let’s go to Mars. Let’s explore the universe. Let’s go beyond ourselves. Let’s learn to dream.

My inner 11 year old is calling.

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~ by hooklineandthinker on May 20, 2010.

One Response to “Ground Control to Major Tom”

  1. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian, iwspo.net

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