Tuesday, August 7, 2012



I read science fiction incessantly as a child.  For that matter, I still do. 

But as I grow older, I find that the idea of mankind becoming a spacefaring race less and less plausible and less and less satisfying.  Oh we might be able to pull it off, but the chances decrease with every excess birth and the way that we will proceed becomes more and more constrained by a damaged and resource-limited world.

The Mars missions have been a highlight lately.  Adventurous and almost glamorous, they represent an excellence and technical virtuosity which leaves old men like me deeply moved.

My favorite shot is the parachute landing.


Tax money well spent



Oldfool said...

This latest stuff is certainly stuff of science fiction of 50 years ago. Now it is real.
Of course there will be those who will say it was staged in Arizona.
There are a large number of scifi writers that believe it may be to late for man to disperse to the stars. I believe that now is the time but it will not happen. Mankind can't even agree on which god to sacrifice virgins to.
I agree with you on the photo of the spacecraft hanging from the parachute. It is magnificent. To be precise enough and rich enough to put a camera ship/radio relay in orbit around another planet and have the landing craft in the right position during that 7 minute window is so close to magic (work of the devil) that I am surprised the godnuts are not pounding on JPL's door wanting to burn someone at the stake.
You might think from this comment that I think religion is a hindrance and you would be right.

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

This latest Mars thing is impressive, alright.

I did a lot of reading of science fiction 50 years ago (Heinlein Clarke Asimov et al), pretty much stopped over the past thirty years. If I was going to read three or four really good novels published since then, what would you recommend?