“Astonishing?” Nope — the inevitable result of seeing only the blanched palette of liberal “vision”:
Astonishing. After countless millennia of gazing and dreaming, we finally got off the ground at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Within 66 years, a nanosecond in human history, we’d landed on the moon. Then five more landings, 10 more moonwalkers and, in the decades since, nothing.
To be more precise: almost 40 years spent in low Earth orbit studying, well, zero-G nausea and sundry cosmic mysteries. We’ve done it with the most beautiful, intricate, complicated — and ultimately, hopelessly impractical — machine ever built by man: the space shuttle. We turned this magnificent bird into a truck for hauling goods and people to a tinkertoy we call the international space station, itself created in a fit of post-Cold War internationalist absentmindedness as a place where people of differing nationality can sing “Kumbaya” while weightless.
The shuttle is now too dangerous, too fragile and too expensive. Seven more flights and then it is retired, going — like the Spruce Goose and the Concorde — into the Museum of Things Too Beautiful and Complicated to Survive.
America’s manned space program is in shambles. Fourteen months from today, for the first time since 1962, the United States will be incapable not just of sending a man to the moon but of sending anyone into Earth orbit. We’ll be totally grounded. We’ll have to beg a ride from the Russians or perhaps even the Chinese.
So what, you say? Don’t we have problems here on Earth? Oh, please. Poverty and disease and social ills will always be with us. If we’d waited for them to be rectified before venturing out, we’d still be living in caves.
Yes, we have a financial crisis. No one’s asking for a crash Manhattan Project. All we need is sufficient funding from the hundreds of billions being showered from Washington — “stimulus” monies that, unlike Eisenhower’s interstate highway system or Kennedy’s Apollo program, will leave behind not a trace on our country or our consciousness — to build Constellation and get us back to Earth orbit and the moon a half-century after the original landing.
Why do it? It’s not for practicality. We didn’t go to the moon to spin off cooling suits and freeze-dried fruit. Any technological return is a bonus, not a reason. We go for the wonder and glory of it.
Never gonna happen, and we aren’t going anywhere, precisely because “wonder and glory” aren’t concepts for which liberals’ constipated aspirations allow space. The days of such American glory are gone. Instead, we’re being led into a second-rate future bounded by the artificial restrictions of third-rate drones. And as long as the intellectual-poverty pimps of the Left are in charge, we’ll have to content ourselves with sitting back and watching in envy and shame, as better, bolder men and women than we now are plant their flags on worlds we lack the fortitude to even dream of. People who view humanity as a “virus” and a blight — such as Obama’s lunatic “science” czar, to name one of way too many — aren’t very likely to advocate anything which would advance humanity, expand our horizons, or fulfill our innate yearning for exploration.