It’s been a while since I wrote some stuff down re: space developments on these pages, so today we’ll talk over some of the latest.
First and foremost is what Space X has pulled off, again. Elon Musk and co make the miraculous seem mundane; witness how we’ve gotten used to how Space X recovers rockets. Real holy crap stuff; if you watch the Youtube videos you’d think it was fake. It’s not.
Last night Space X punched yet another Starlink mission up into low Earth orbit, the adds more mini-satellites to the proposed internet constellation. One of these days I’m going to be an internet customer of his; rural US internet is pretty bad.
And this doesn’t even touch on the Demo 2 mission less than a week ago. Once again the US is lofting astronauts heavenward; it’s about darn time. This time around its even better because a private company is doing the deed.
Why is this better? Because one of NASA’s perennial handicaps is funding shifts with political changes in focus. Space programs are by definition long-term projects. How is it possible to maintain continuity when every two or four years funding changes? Short answer? It’s not.
This is where Space X reigns supreme. One person, Mr. Musk, determines what gets funded. The goal remains the same, it’s not a moving target.
Over the past decade, Mr. Musk has demonstrated that he is serious about space exploration. Look around. If it wasn’t for his vision and drive we’d be stuck with the cash-cow military industrial complex and half-hearted efforts from other billionaires.
Let’s face it, we are not going to space with “737 MAX” Boeing.
Barring any horrible unforeseen events, we will get to space with Mr. Musk.
In other news, scientists are refining exoplanet discoveries, including one around Proxima B, out neighboring star. I remember a time when planets around distant stars were theory, not fact. These days there seems to be a discovery per week; the darn things are everywhere. This is excellent; when the day comes that we gain interstellar capability there will be no shortage of star systems to explore.
Of course, there is a lot that needs to happen before we become a multi-planetary civilization, let alone an interstellar one.
But as I judge things from my rural retreat, I see the potential. Even though it’s tough to look past the 1968ish turmoil down here. Real tough.
We have a lot of work to do, both here in the dirt and up in the heavens.
I remain optimistic.