(It was cloudy both nights, so there was no chance of a star party)
models by Claussen, Buth
I was born with the future Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley built. By 2000, we knew, several glittering wheel-shaped space stations would orbit the Earth. Hundreds of humans would populate Earth's Moon, with a like number of colonists on Mars. There would be more than one research station among the moons of the gas giants. A few humans would stand on the surface of Pluto, peering into the Great Beyond and laying plans for the first trips to Alpha Centauri.
I grew up. Somehow I find that I have now slipped into an alternate future, one where it takes the combined resources of our world's industrial nations and ten years to build but one space station... and its crew will only be 6, not 250.
20 years ago, 25 years ago, there were people who would say, "If we can send a man - to - the - Moon, why can't we" [insert favorite cause here]? Those people no longer say that; they have gotten their way. Not that we have solved any of the problems - of - the - world, but 'at least' we no longer have the technology to send anyone beyond low Earth orbit.
I do not like this future.
Yes, I will beat the drum for our tiny 6-person space station, but it isn't enough. Yes, I enjoy a ripping tale presented with the latest digital effects ...a brief escape into fantasy... but that isn't enough either. I want Mars Direct, hollowed-out asteroids, solar power satellites & L5 settlements. I want to battle the industrialists for the right to keep the far side of the moon as a quiet refuge for radio astronomy. I want to join the debate over whether we will terraform Mars -- even though I don't know yet if I will be a 'red' or a 'green'. I'll work to get others to see what I see, and want it as much as I do.
And someday, when 'they' aren't watching, I just might slip back into
Last revision by rab - Counter started March 02, 1999 -