Today NASA released an article revealing evidence which suggests the existence of liquid water on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. Scientists hypothesize that water exists perhaps tens of meters below the surface of the moon. Speaking about the discovery Dr. Carolyn Porco states, “if we are right, we have significantly broadened the diversity of solar system environments where we might possibly have conditions suitable for living organisms.”
Excuse me if I’m not jumping up and down. I followed that silly Mars rover obsessively several years ago just knowing it would stumble upon great riverbeds, and all it found was a buncha red rocks. I remember something about Europa supposedly containing water as well, but that turned out to be bunk too. Every time I get excited about an announcement from NASA or JPL I’m seriously disappointed.
And even if they do find water what will that mean for us? Shit, NASA can’t even design a craft with enough structural integrity to keep Styrofoam from flinging off at launch, so what makes us think we could mount a mission to the moon of Saturn? Okay, assuming the geniuses at NASA possess the intelligence and acumen to correctly calculate the trajectory and landing of a rover in either metric or standard measurements so that it actually lands safely, we could conceivable collect data and perform experiments on the surface of Enceladus.
Then what? We find that life (microorganisms if we’re lucky) may have existed there billions of years ago? We add more proof to the theory of the Big Bang, evolution, and the expansion of the universe thereby giving fundamentalists yet more science to ignore? Yay. Hooray for us.
You know what? As far as I’m concerned unless NASA suddenly develops a space-elevator, discovers how to open and navigate an Einstein-Rosen bridge, develops crafts with hyperdrives or Dilithium crystals, or successfully slingshots around the sun I’m not all that interested in their little exploits.
People in the sixties and seventies experienced an exciting time as far as space exploration; I get some rocks and a rumor of water. Be still my beating heart.
I’m still doubting that the yanks even landed on our moon. If they did, why haven’t they exploited it too…
I get some rocks and a rumor of water. Be still my beating heart.
And a space station, automated probes that have visited every planet in the solar system except Pluto and one on the way.
It’s not the world and it’s not what Sir Arthur promised in ‘2001’ but it’s not half bad.
I’m still doubting that the yanks even landed on our moon. If they did, why haven’t they exploited it
Because we are spoiled, smart kids. We don’t want to put out the effort to earn a 4.0 average in school, we’re content to coast along on our native wit and get 3.0 and 2.0 marks. Until someone ELSE gets it in gear and look like the class brain and then we’ll kick ass and stay up late studying and brain burning the knowledge needed to ace the mid-terms.
Americans are damned frustrating to live with. We could _have_ cities on the moon, research stations on Mars we could be mining the asteroids but NO we inflicted Shuttle and space malaise on ourselves.
Look to the private space community for your hopes. We’ll kick start tourism, we’ll come up with innovative ways to get stuff to orbit (see Elon Musk and Liftport) we’ll launch Sir Richard’s tourists on our hardware and we’ll _shame_ the crats in NASA into being what their mythos tells them they are.
You gotta do what you gotta do.
You’re in luck!! They are currently testing robotic builders that can construct habitats on the moon. ‘Course, probably not in *our* time, but they say it really, truly possible. I, in all my wide eyed innocence, believe them fully!!! AND am planning on purchasing advance tickets to go there as soon as I can find someone to take my money….
Don’t get me wrong, I’m rooting for the astronauts and the space program in general. I’m with Chris; the first person that can take me into space gets my entrance fee. I’d love to bounce around in zero G’s. Plus, I understand I would weigh less on the moon which would mean I could end my diet immediately. I’m just aggravated that my generation is the middle child and won’t actually see anything cool.
I agree with you Mr. Dunbar when you say our accomplishments aren’t “half bad,” but call me selfish, I want to experience that sense of wonderment the kids of the sixties must have felt watching the moon landing, and I know I probably never will. (Plus, I do hope you realize I had my tongue firmly planted in my cheek while writing the original post)
And I’m not a crazy conspiracy theorist who erroneously believes they faked the moon landing. Shit, our government isn’t even capable of keeping torture a secret, there’s no way they could fake something that monumental and keep it secret for nearly fifty years. There just wasn’t anything immediately marketable on the moon so we haven’t been back. Capitalism is the name of the game and there wasn’t a quick payoff in staying there for any length of time.