As Carl Sagan would say; there are billions and billions and billions of stars. Throughout human history, men and women and children have looked to the sky with amazement and curiosity. I know I was one of them… and still am.
My first experience with modern space exploration came when I was about 7 years old. That is when I watched The Right Stuff. Much of the movie was above my head, but it gave me a firm grasp on our nation’s path toward space, both historically and within the context of modern space exploration.
About a year later, I was home sick from school watching the Price is Right, as was customary for me in 3rd grade, when Bob Barker was interrupted by breaking news: the Challenger Space Shuttle had blown up shortly after launch. I suppose I was somewhat devastated to hear the news as I was always mesmerized by space and space exploration. I would later go on to read the books and watch the television series The Cosmos by Carl Sagan at the age of 12 and later graduate to the more palatable writings of Stephen Hawking and Buckminster Fuller.
My curiosity of space and space exploration has never waned. However, I have had grave reservations about the course of our nation’s space ambitions for many years as the outdated Shuttle program has continued to prove to be little more than an exercise in futility as the cost of the bloated NASA budget, funded by taxpayer money, has produced little tangible successes and many, many failures resulting in the deaths of the Astronauts aboard the Challenger and later, Columbia. continue reading…