Knowledge and freedom are the bells some desperately try to unring. Fear and hatred and self-importance, it seems, are also bells which have been pealed. The carillon of life depends entirely on which melodies you choose to play.
I take great comfort in the fact that the universe is mindbogglingly big and that I will one day die. It helps give me the necessary context to keep from taking the things we do too seriously. Amazingly, given the span of cosmic time scales compared to a human lifetime, and my complete irrelevance when set against the backdrop of the entirety of the universe, I still try to do the things I do the best I can, and try to do better today than I did yesterday. It seems important, somehow…so why not?
I wonder who the first human will be to die in space, never to return to eir mother planet?
While space travelers have died, to this point all have returned their atoms to the world that bore them. Eventually a spaceship will be lost, a star voyager will float away, a suit will no longer sustain, or a lander on some foreign body will fail to ascend. At that point, we will have crossed the Rubicon and proved our commitment to the exploration of the Universe.
Pen. Ink. Fingers. Augh. Papertowel. Water. Soap. Blue. Write.
Talking to my brother about the 60s and early 70s: “I liked ‘then’ then. I like ‘then’ now. I’m probably going to like ‘then’ in the future.”
I was perusing the Wikipedia List of Female Astronauts.
Something I noticed from this: if you remove U.S. women astronauts, the list is really short. Of 56 women who have made it into space (out of 530 total space travelers as of Jan. 2013), US=45, rest of world=11 (USSR/RUS-3; CAN-2; JPN-2; UK-1; FRA-1; KOR-1; CHN-1). It shifts slightly if you consider mixed citizenship: IND/USA-1; IRN/USA-1.
Interpret this as you will.
There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks and months about various schemes to get people to Mars. Some are suggestions for an orbital flight while others talk of landing and/or building a colony of between a few people and several thousand. As visitors to this site are aware, I have also thought about this; my solution was the Mudskipper. Here are some details:Read more...