Friday, July 8, 2011

The Last Dreams of Humanity Sent Skyward

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. We propose to accelerate the development of the appropriate lunar space craft. We propose to develop alternate liquid and solid fuel boosters, much larger than any now being developed, until certain which is superior. We propose additional funds for other engine development and for unmanned explorations--explorations which are particularly important for one purpose which this nation will never overlook: the survival of the man who first makes this daring flight. But in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon--if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there."
 John F. Kennedy, in an address to Congress, 1961

I was talking with a friend the other day about the shuttle launch, and he said he was going to watch it so he could "tell [his] grandchildren that he saw the last dreams of humanity sent skyward."  I wanted to write today about the last shuttle launch, which is happening today at 11:26a, but to be honest with you, I'm too sad about it to really do it justice.  NASA's history of human space flight has allowed Americans to dream together in a way that very little has since the nation's founding.  I know it's expensive, and I know that many people pooh-pooh the program, but the benefit to science and technology alone has been incredible.

And that's to say nothing of what manned space flight does for the way we think about the universe and our place in it.  Sending humans into space nourishes the soul and has changed us in remarkable ways. 

"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
Leonardo da Vinci


  1. this could be a really great piece if you backed up your claims.

  2. I don't really know what claims need to be backed up here, especially considering it's a two paragraph post that amounts to "I am bummed that manned space missions are ending." Are you referring to NASA and the space program's contributions to science?

  3. Hey Josie, a great blog post would be about "idiots with keyboards"... LOL

  4. just thought it was really well written, and could have been a lot better with the stuff about how science/technology has progressed at a much faster rate than had been seen prior... sorry to be a "douchbag".

    by the way, I still have the grill you said you wanted. :D

  5. Wahn wahn wahn. *facepalm* I am glad you revealed yourself, I was thinking "who is this person and why are they up in my shit?"

    Thanks for the compliment. I still don't think what I was going for needed as much on the science stuff but maybe I'll write about about that later when I'm not as emotional about it. Point well taken. :)

    Totally cool you still have the grill, I'll shoot you an email! Thanks for saving it for me.

  6. I am also sad, but mostly because this post did not contain photographs of cats acting and/or dressing like people.

  7. Listen woman, we can't have everything in this life.

    Okay sometimes we can: