on the night of 14th March 2008, as Endeavour, The ISS and Jules Verne track across our skies, I thought it would be a good time have a go at putting our efforts at achieving the goal of the human race developing into a space faring civilisation.
Eugene Cernan was the last human to walk on another world, way back in the early 1970’s.
I thought I would take a look at how far we have come since then, or to be more precise, how we have not moved forward at all since those heady days of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Here is a little visual aid to help you out.
Take a reasonably large scale map of the Earth, or perhaps a globe.
Take a used matchstick and lay it on the globe or map between Boston and new York, break the matchstick to that length and then stand it vertically on the map – hold it there with the tip of your finger.
That is, (with the exception of the Hubble service Missions, which would double the length of your matchstick) the distance from the surface of our world that our efforts have taken us since the moon landings.
I do concede that a lot of science and research into the effects of space on the human body, and many sciences have benefited from the myriad of micro gravity experiments that have been carried out on the international space station and also on the Russian space station Mir at this ‘spitting distance’ from the earth, but it has to be said that we are still only just hanging in there in space after all of this time. If the political will and international cooperation existed on the planet today, we could be so much further ahead in our efforts to create a second location in the universe for the human race, a back-up folder if you like.
The ‘Money’ arguments against the dream of human beings developing into a true space faring species just don’t work any more. I have stated the reasons why, and in detail in previous articles. I will not go into them in this article right at this time, rather I would save them for another article to which I would devote more time and effort to the subject.
I do hope we get out there soon, I hope we get past the low orbit ‘rut’ we are floundering in right now.
For all our sakes.