Here’s what I’ve been learning from National Geographic: Exploring Space issue:
This magazine has gotten my hopes so high about the possibility of people really getting into space and exploring and even colonizing. Then they have to go and talk about how NASA doesn’t even have any kind of Mars mission in the works until 2035. That’s a really long time.
The problem is they don’t have the funds or government interest to do anything like that. They can’t make the next generation equipment, and so our progress is slowing, yet discoveries and our potential abilities for space travel are increasing at a huge rate.
But I feel like we shouldn’t just be sitting around and waiting for the government to do this for us. I hate that we expect the government to take care of the things we really care about for us instead of going out and finding a way to do it ourselves. I’m not trying to be political here. It’s just a basic life statement. If you want to do something right then do it yourself.
Now I’m about to site a sci-fi novel, which is fiction, but is still thought-provoking: In The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, the Jesuits end up taking the initiative in contacting a newly discovered alien species. They wanted to do it their way, so they just went. I think there were some repercussions for that from the government in the second book, but I didn’t like that one as much as wasn’t able to get very far into it. But, anyway, it’s a thought on the same track.
Anyway, there are lots of independent corporations getting into the space race, and that’s really cool. I really think these companies and other individuals will be more influential in getting us the push we need for some real space exploration than a huge, burdened, government agency. What do you think?