Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why Space?

(A couple years ago I wrote some short pieces about space exploration for a website that never got off the ground. I've decided to publish them here just for fun.)

Why Space?

This is a question that has only demanded an answer in the last 50 years. In the past 5000 years the answer was simple. Space was the dream and symbol of ultimate human achievement. To leave the Earth and take your destiny into your hands was considered divine, the ultimate power. But today space is considered the realm of highly trained fix-it men, and the dream has disappeared. And we are left with the question of “Why space?” without any answer.

But for some, the answer is still the same as it has been for thousands of years. The dream of the ultimate achievement is still alive in their hearts, but they have become wiser through experience, realizing that it is a dream they will have to take into their own hands. It is the rest of us who have come to view space as the grab bag at the fair that on first glance looks full of possibilities and excitement, only upon winning it to realize that it is full of dime store trinkets that barely cover the ticket price. But should we blame the grab bag for not living up to its promise, or the sly carny who filled the bag with junk?

Space exploration, like that bag, could have been filled with all of the wonders and treasures that its wrapper implied, and we would be living in a true space age instead of our current information age. But, unlike that woeful grab bag, space and space exploration, truly do contain wonders and riches beyond our imaginations. There is enough space in space to achieve all of our dreams, whether it be money, or the freedom to do as we please, but we have been burned by the carny and instead of getting angry and demanding the prize we were promised, we settled for the dime store trinkets, believing the carny that, that is all it ever truly contained.

Space is the ultimate freedom for humanity and is no one's or thing's right to hand out like candy to a child.
Space is our inalienable right and the stepping stone from mankind's adolescent years into true adulthood.

I am demanding the promised prize, and hope that we will wake up the sleeping dream inside all of us about the absolute unending possibilities that space exploration can provide.