The Crossroads of the Aether
Perhaps this doesn’t belong on a steampunk site but..I feel that you all would understand this the best.
This year I’ll be 29yrs old and I am what is called a “Shuttle Baby.” The first Launch I was apart of was a night launch as a infant. My toys where little shuttles that disconnected in the prescribed manner of the actual shuttle. I grew up on Star Trek and Star Wars mused about with the idea of being a Astronaut and clearly knew all they had to do to become one. A scientist who would help them get farther into space. All the while the shuttle kept going up. A sure sign of inspiration for me as a child.
Yeah… I didn’t stand a chance about not being a ‘geek.
’I have a maternal aunt who work (well soon to be ‘worked,’) in a NASA firing room. I’m an adult now and though I have decided to not be a scientist or a Astronaut I still admire and honor those people greatly. Right now I’m sitting up at My Aunts house watching NASA television with a constant feed with shuttle stats and radio transmissions. Atlantis sits, stately as ever, awaiting it’s last flight. And I can’t help but find myself tearing up. It’s leaving me!
I know, it seems silly it’s just a machine right? Nothing to cry over…right?
I suppose because this icon has done so much, not just for my family or the ones in the Cape Canaveral area but our world. The discoveries and progress this machine has brought are incredible. To just leave it all behind, breaks my heart. I do want progress but (I suppose in a true Steampunk style) did we have to kill and get rid of our old technology? The items that have had a good track record? Get rid of the people who knew what they where doing in favor of eventually hiring new people who have no real grasp of the history just know how it was supposed to work in theory? Have we thrown away this technology too soon? Like the Steamer car just forgotten and thrown away because it was alittle “in-efficient” and old? But this newer one is “efficient,” smaller but possibly more wasteful? Are we stopping this program to make scientific strides towards working on propulsion systems to get us some place else than the moon in a timely manner (preferably one that doesn’t kill the occupants)?
I suppose what scares me most is that no one is answering these questions clearly. Sure there are some suggestions floating around but no solid answers. I fear that this is going the direction of many technology and perhaps on some level this represented the best of relevant technology that birthed so many little useful things (such as the pen that can write upside down, because in space there is no gravity to pull the ink down).
I’m rambling now…I’ll stop. Perhaps I’ll be able to put it to rest now that it’s out of my system.
But I suppose what I really said all that to say is:
Thank you to all the NASA workers. Godspeed & Safety Atlantis. I’ll miss you space program.