February 8th, 2018



When I was a kid, I used to spend hours pouring through our set of Isaac Asimov's Library of the Universe, especially the volumes "Colonizing the Planets and Stars" and "The Future in Space". I even collected a whole pile of National Geographic issues documenting the Apollo space program. The idea of space dazzled me, even though I'd never want to go myself--just the grandeur of it, the epic scope. But around high school I began losing interest, especially as NASA started mothballing their space shuttle program. Sure, there were talks about creating some kind of successor space plane, but that never happened, and it looked like the whole space thing was just ... not going anywhere.

Sure, I heard rumors of private companies wanting to find ways to make space travel commercially viable, but for a decade or so I wrote them off as mere pie-in-the-sky fancies. And then I saw one of these landings from SpaceX:

Yeah, that got my attention--it looks like the kind of thing you'd see in the old "future of space" predictions from the 50's and 60's--or some of the speculative drawings in the the Asimov books I'd loved so much as a kid.

And then I watched this:

Not live, alas, but I would've if I'd known when it was happening. I've seen it several times now, and still feel slightly giddy every time. There's a car in space. And it's going to get flown off in the direction of Mars. How rad is that? It really does feel kind of like we're living in the future--at least a little bit. I hope that feeling never goes away entirely.

(Though with a little less of this sort of thing, one hopes)