February 3, 2003

flesh, blood, sinew

Lileks has the words on space exploration.

NPR had an interview with one of those people who think we should not send people into space, but rely entirely on robots. As I pulled into the parking lot at the mall he casually asked “what can a man do on Mars that a robot cannot?”

PLANT A FUCKING FLAG ON THE PLANET, I shouted at the radio. Pardon my language. But. On a day when seven brave people died while fulfilling their brightest ambitions, this was the wrong day to suggest we all stay tethered to the dirt until the sun grows cold.

Read it. All. You’ll be glad you did.

He’d imagined this moment as oddly private; he’d thought of himself, the red land, the flag in his hand, and he heard music, as though the moment would be fully scored when it happened. But there isn’t any music; there’s the sound of his breath and the thrum of his pulse. It seems like everyone who ever lived is standing behind him at the other end of a vast dark auditorium, waiting for the flag to stand on the ground of Mars. Then he will say something. He might stumble on a word or two, because he’s only human.

But look what humans have done. Again.

did i ever mention that i’d rather see the $300 billion the war in iraq may cost go to NASA instead? or even 10% of the pentagons annual budget (380 billion)?
it’d be nice to go off exploring instead of off killing.
silly human race and its priorities.
i’d trade nearly anything i could for a chance to see the earth from space.

If the $300 billion for war in Iraq doesn’t go into war in Iraq, there won’t be a NASA to invest in.
However. Bush’s tax cuts? Bring it! Lets give those guys down in Florida some green they can roll around in!