ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 11/25/09
Just in time for Congress to cancel it, phase 2 of NASA's Lunar Lander Development Competition has started producing some pretty freakin' schwee results like these
Pretty cool, huh? We get jaded to this stuff, since we see it so often in SF films, but in fact, *LANDING* a rocket tail-first is amazingly difficult, and the kind of thing that's really only been done a dozen or so times in all of human history. (Six on the moon). On at least one occasion it's gone terribly, terribly wrong, as you can see here http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8967396963929400263&ei=6V3wSpCS... And that was the end of the Delta Clipper, alas.
Despite my being a Republican, I'm *not* one of those ones to automatically gainsay everything the Democrats and Obama do. As Republican we have a theory on how things should work, and the Democrats have an opposing theory. I believe in the system of government we've got, and I welcome the opportunity to see their theory in practice, if only because it gives us data to update our own theory. That's fine.
The President wants to transform the American Car Industry in to British Leland? Ok, fine. The President wants to campaign against Plan Bush, but continue adhering to it in Iraq? Ok, fine. The President wants to piss away his first year in office attempting to ram through a healthcare plan that evidently no one in the world actually wants? Interesting choice, but Ok, fine. We'll take notes when he's done, and see how it compares to our next guy. I disagree with most of his decision, of course, but then I would, wouldn't I? My name is "Republibot 3.0" and I run a website called "Republibot" - I'm hardly unbiased.
But I'm not a reactionary, either. I can be pragmatic about these things. But when he kills the space program, that's where my cabbage starts to get steamed.
I mean, we've already spent BILLIONS on this, and we know it'll work. As Congress stated recently, "I don't understand why we can't just continue on with the plan we all agreed on a few years ago?" Why, Barry, Why, are you insisting on "Postponing" the program for five years? We're already loosing our lead against every other spacefaring country. Granted, it's not an imminent problem, but NASA is already anticipating 5 years without manned access to space, and your additional half-decade "Postponement" on top of that means ten years without an American in space, unless of course we buy tickets on Russian or Chinese ships.
That's humiliating, that's unacceptable. By the time we get back in space - IF we get back in space - the Moon will belong to the Chinese or the Russians or the Indians, or the Europeans, and we'll be as relevant as the vikings who discovered America, but couldn't think of anything to do with it: A fascinating foonote, a hillarious "What were they thinking?" But not much more than that.