Forty Years ago today man walked on the moon. All over the nation people are celebrating that achievement. I'm not. Instead I am mad as hell. Click the read more link to learn why.
If I've heard it once I have heard it a million times, "We can put a man on the moon... but we can't (insert gripe here)". For me, that gripe just about sums it up. I grew up on playgrounds where we were astronauts. No one doubted that by 2000 we'd have cities in space and a base on the moon.
In the world of tomorrow power was cheap and beamed from satellites. Everyone understood basic science. Air cars (remember the Jetsons?) were the norm and vacations to the moon were routine. Instead we are in yet another energy hostage situation and our kids are not exactly breaking records in the math and science literacy category.
Who's to blame for this mess? Folks it's a 50/50 deal. The .gov gets half the blame for not pursuing a government/industrial partnership which could have lowered the infrastructure costs enough to allow private enterprise into the picture without taxpayer subsidies. By now, such a system would have paid for itself and free enterprise use of space would be a given. We shouldn't be mining coal. We should have the united mine workers gutting the asteroid belt.
The other half of the anger goes to you, me, and our parents for not pushing space flight and exploration to the point that the .gov had to listen. If Congress really wanted a balanced budget, we'd have one. If Congress really wanted to get the big government out of the space business in favor of private enterprise, we would have. Instead Uncle Sugar has a lock and NASA has no budget to speak of.
So yeah, instead of celebrating the achievement I am pissed off that we in fact didn't take it any further.