Friday, 8 July 2011

Farewell Atlantis

I'm not misty-eyed over the Space Shuttle: it was a beautiful white elephant. The SF-reading romantic in me mourns the loss of potential.

The bitter realist in me wishes we could have spent all that money and effort in cleaning up the planet we've got, feeding everyone and improving our lives.

The Shuttle was a dead-end: unsafe and limited. Humans won't ever reach other planets - the distances and laws of physics prevent it. We should have put our energy into unmanned craft, and rocket satellite launches. But its end still makes me sad.


Artog said...

One of my favourite lines from the novel Logan's Run is that man reached for the stars but was beaten back by E=MC2 (that doesn't look right without superscript). Brutal.

I'm surprised that a sci-fi nerd like yourself has so little faith in our chances of ever discovering a warp drive (or whatever) - after all we've invented lasers, force fields, invisibility cloaks and teleportation.

Benjamin Judge said...

The laws of physics do not prevent us from reaching other planets, they just make it massively difficult with the technology we currently have.

In the past physics has prevented us from doing lots of things we now take for granted. You give physics a break young man.

The Plashing Vole said...

OK, I'll be clearer. I'm persuaded by the physicists who say that the speed of light can't be reached by material objects, and that the energy needed to get there is unobtainable. That means we can't reach other stars in less than tens of thousands of years. Other planets in this system are no problem.

Therefore we're not going.