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The only thing we have to fear…is not trying

The only thing we have to fear…is not trying
  Jerry Vilhotti
The Gift
Pale horse dying
Oedipus Crying
varianta print

Jerry Vilhotti

Publicat Duminică, 18 Martie 2007, ora 07:50

      According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on American highways….”42,815 people died in auto accidents in 2002, an increase of 1.5 percent from 2001. At the same time, the number of injuries dropped, from 3.03 million in 2001 to 2.92 million in 2002.”
      Meanwhile in the air, “Between January and June this year a total of 362 people worldwide lost their lives in 12 fatal accidents. In 2002 there were 712 deaths and 18 fatal accidents.” As reported by Airwise news.
      In comparison in the last forty years of manned space flight, only 20 persons have lost their lives.
      When a space shuttle falls from the sky, the program grinds to a halt, flights are cancelled, and media floods the airwaves with questions of safety and mans role in space. The “nay sayers” question the usefulness of the research while wringing their hands wondering if robots could do it better.
      They forget about the basic human need to explore, to see what’s over the next rise or around the bend in the river. We, humanity, would have never left the safety of the cave if Mrs. Ogg kept telling Mr. Ogg it was too dangerous.
      But we have to explore, its in our nature to see things firsthand. Whether its Marco Polo traveling to China, Lewis and Clark crossing America or my own humble trip to Eastern Europe its our curiosity that makes life interesting. Sure we can send robots to Mars, but one day we will want to stand on it ourselves, if not for any other reason than to say that we can.
      It’s a basic human need to explore. As soon as a child is able to walk, it is exploring its surroundings. As soon as that same child is able to talk, inevitably one of its first words is “why”.
      It the respect of space exploration, humanity has barely begun to crawl let alone talk and now some question our role in space.
      For the most part the rewards of space exploration lean more toward the less tangible. Will a seen a more powerful microwave oven in my kitchen as a result of space travel? Not likely. A new and improved cold medicine? It would be nice, but I don’t see that happening either. If fact the only product that come to mind that could be linked to space travel is “astronaut ice cream”.
      Remember “astronaut ice cream”? That freeze dried, kind of dry, kind of rubbery, exotic dessert specialty that, as rumor says, accompanied every astronaut that went to the moon and had the consistency vaguely reminiscent but not totally unlike flavored powdered milk.
      That and national pride. To be able to say “we landed on the moon” or “we went to Mars” Sending a robot can be interesting, but it doesn’t capture the public imagination like manned space flight. It would be like saying…"I sent my aunts sisters second cousin, twice removed, on my mothers side to Europe and I got some really neat pictures”. It kind of loses the mystique and sense of adventure that is manned spaceflight.

© Copyright Jerry Vilhotti
Sursa :   Imagikon
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