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Carried away.

lizpolaris's picture
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Watching Endeavour carried to its final resting place, in so many images and videos, was like seeing the funeral procession of all my hopes and dreams. It was like the death of JFK, which I only dimly perceived as a child, come fully to life in despair. Good bye and when will we see its like again? No commercial corporation will profit from a people's dreams. Only a nation can do that.

Comments

Submitted by lambert on

I don't feel that way, but it's interesting some do. Maybe my hopes and dreams are of this earth.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

there was a great focus on science and technology. So much of the development was driven by research and innovations which came from the space program. I choose my profession of computer programming to do what I could to contribute to progress and what I thought was change for the better. We all felt like there was nothing we couldn't do once we deepened our understanding of the world around us and applied what we found to our problems. The space program, and in particular the manned space program, embodied that.

Today, instead of driving forward from our gains, the manned space program is gone - perhaps someday in the future (2020 did they say?) to be revived with some version of giant rocket and capsule - really retrograde thinking, if I may use the phrase. And our 'plan' is for commercial airlines to take 'passengers' (read wealthy tourists) into low earth orbit. How far we have fallen from our lofty goals. At least we are continuing some exploration with cute robots like Curiosity to poke around and provide some data back home.

This thinking infects the rest of our scientific endeavor as well. We cancelled the super conducting super collider program - let the Europeans do it. Politicians give lip service to STEM education, while gutting public education - and the reality is we are either importing foreigners on HB1 visas to do it for us or off-shoring science to cheaper countries i.e. computer technology, manufacturing, drug research and production, etc...

Our hopes and dreams whether celestial or terrestrial are tied to a vision of ourselves. That vision is grounded and in mothballs now.

Submitted by lambert on

RiverDaughter has a similar set of feelings and experiences I would say, since the science that she does was gutted and/or sent overseas.

I think we can separate out our attititudes for the corporate users of science (I'm not sure why humans need to go into space for any other purpose than colonization, and surely that's not on, and do we, as a species even deserve it, and Big Pharma has its distortions, shall we say) from the tragedy of the downgrading of our entire culture, which can only have been deliberate, but to what end?

And with so many unemployed highly qualified people, what sense does H1B visa make? I have never understood it.

Submitted by cg.eye on

And, somehow, those externalities are overlooked, like the heightened incidence of cancers along water tables under rocket testing grounds:

"Although the science center, or CSC, where Endeavour is to go on display, said would plant twice as many trees in their place, tree lovers are still not convinced.

Claudine Jasmin, a resident of South Los Angeles, said she goes to the CSC all the time and loves having it in the neighborhood, but does not think it’s worth losing the trees. She said they bring squirrels and a variety of birds.

“My parents have lived in this neighborhood since before I was born, and we have these big pine trees on our street, and I’m sure it took forever for them to grow. They are beautiful,” Jasmin said. “It would be really, really horrendous to see all these years of a tree’s growth completely diminished for one parade.”

Eddie North-Hager, publisher of Leimertparkbeat.com, a local online news and social network, said despite the loss of trees, Endeavour’s arrival will be a good thing for the neighborhood.

“There is a lot of concern over street trees and everyone wants to work to make sure they are replaced and taken care of and have the same caretaking as there is now,” North-Hager said. “Everyone is concerned that baby trees will replace trees that have been there forever … I do hope they put in more than saplings and do expect they will take care of them until they reach a maturity where they can take care of themselves.”"