Friday, July 08, 2011
End of a Dream
Today was a sad day. Today was the last launch of the space shuttle. Someone commented that the shuttle was the last of the big cold war era engineering programs. It seems like its been downhill ever sense. While China is building the longest bridge and the largest dam, the fastest trains, we band aid decaying infrastructure. Thinking about this made me wonder if the true lesson of the cold war is that two sides fight and weaken themselves until a third can take over and become dominant. You see that in the animal world all the time.
We no longer have the ability to put humans into orbit ourselves. We are completely reliant on the Russians to get us to the ISS. And they're using 1960's technology. What about our 1960's technology? We threw it away. NASA burned its bridges so that the only way forward was with the space shuttle. Now that is gone. It never worked as well as hoped, but even that is no more. Its a sad day indeed.