Monday, June 22, 2009

"It’s been far too long since any human visited the place."

The post title is the last line of Taylor Dinerman's article in today's space review entitled Why is it so hard to go back to the Moon? He points out the political, and funding differences between the '60's and today. And that it will likely be 51 years between the last landing and the next (at least for the good ol' US-of-A). Like most space enthusiast, this totally boggles my mind.

What popped into my mind is the risk aversion that we seem to have in our society today. After the tragic Apollo 1 fire, there was a 21 month delay in our space program. After Challenger, the delay was three years and after Columbia it was a bit over that. But it is not the differences in these time frames that I wonder about. If you look back at the early days of space travel, there were so many close calls that were taken in stride. I wonder how many of these would spawn congressional committees if they happened today. This makes me worry if we can ever get there from here...again.