Why did the public fall out of love with the space program? Simple. Because we got the goods. It extended technology so fast and furiously that the new and shiny became the everyday norm, so we forgot where that gift horse was. We got accustomed to having something new come along ever other day that we no longer paid attention to why that was. So now we turn our back to it. Like our highways, someday soon we’ll start wondering where the smooth ride to the future went… and why they don’t ‘make things’ like they used to.
The space program, unbeknownst to many, was one of the greatest investments ever made into the future of mankind. If you stop what your doing and take a look around your home or your office, or wherever you might be at this time, chances are almost everything you see either has its roots in technology developed for the space program, or has been vastly improved by it.
Now, as we reduce funding and research for the exploration of space one must wonder where the next frontier is in developing those miracles that we’ve come to expect in making our lives easier and simpler. What’s gonna be the driving force to the next wave of wow? Where is the new gotta have it gonna come from?
Not only have we reduced funding and cancelled programs that required that reach for new technologies to advance from concept to reality with the space program, we’ve started cutting back on funding those same types of strides in our defense industry as well. Cancelling new programs across the board and scaling back existing ones such as the F22.
Sure, we’d all love to not need these new weapon systems, the ballistic defense systems and advanced aircraft an such, but the reality is we are a long way from co-existing peacefully among each other here on earth. And right now in research departments, in laboratories, and in the of some of the brightest minds in countries that aren’t anywhere close to being our friends, there is much being done to make those new systems and advancements their own.
Money for sure is an issue. We’ve stretched ourselves thin. We’ve made priorities elsewhere and what little money left we seem to want to divvy up on those feel good programs to make the locals happy. But we need to remember the old saying, it takes money to make money. If we are not putting money into the technology that will grow our future that future is dim indeed. To make big strides it takes big ideas. Big ideas come from big challenges. Large dreams give reason to make large things happen. Worthwhile things.
A lot of people may not have given a damn about going to the moon, or putting robots on Mars, but they’ve sure enjoyed the benefits. In your medicine cabinet, in your car, in your kitchen, your office, your school, your den, even in your pocket or purse, those benefits literally surround you.
Our future is worth investing in.