- Nov 29, 2016
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The human race has survived catastrophe after catastrophe, many natural, many more of our own doing.
I have high hopes that, as a species, we will endure. Individually, we are smart, adaptable, and inventive in a way that no other species on Earth has ever been.
It would take a lot more than a hot summer or cold winter to doom us to extinction..
I always wonder if we have been stuck in a cycle, because we aren't moving at break-neck speed to explore space.
There have been a lot of advances in the past few years, and the private sector is getting interested.
Perhaps it just happens a bit slower in the grand scheme of things.
I'm not thoroughly convinced that the future of humans involves space to any great degree. In all human history, every great period of exploration and migration had, at its heart, a commercial interest.
As someone who experienced the giddy excitement of the "Space Race" first hand. It was a time where everyone in the world hung on the successes of NASA and where astronauts were A-List celebrities. No one doubted that the moon was just a first hop in what would, very soon, take us to the stars (or at least further into the solar system).
So, you can imagine my shock and dissolution when that global enthusiasm evaporated all most over night.
In less than a year, when the third moon landing mission was launched, the news carried little of it. When catastrophe in space meant the crew of Apollo 13 was in real danger, the news, which up till now mostly ignored the mission, broke into regular programming and over 1 MILLION people called TV networks to complain that they had interrupted a RERUN of "Batman" -- a show that at the time had been cancelled for two years.
That is why in the 50 years since the last manned moon landing, humans have never ventured more than 1,000 Km from the surface of The Earth ... a distance shorter than the length of our original 13 colonies.
The original Space Race had no value other than propaganda. Very little of the actual moon was seriously studied by the mission and most of the moon rocks brought back from the mission remain sealed in their original containers, never having been examined. Most of those around today were given as gifts by the government to various dignitaries. A key goal of the Space Race was a very practical demonstration of the high accuracy of American missile technology. ... if we could land a rocket in a very specific place on the moon, would could certainly land one in the kitchen window of The Kremlin.
There is no commercial venture possible in space that could come anywhere near making a profit, not with our present state of space technology which hasn't changed appreciably to what The Nazis used to bomb London.
We have no super powers we need to impress with our rocket technology any longer. So, there is very little reason for us to venture into space for many centuries to come.