Saturday, September 02, 2006

What He Said

New Spaceship, Same Old Rocks

It’s nice to see the word “spaceship” on the front page again. Lockheed Martin just snagged the government billions to build Orion, a reusable capsule that’ll
replace the Space Shuttle. But does it run on fusion? Or an ion engine?
Can it bend space and duck through and into and out of wormholes? No?
Then I’m not impressed. The thing looks--and is--pretty much like an
old-school Apollo pod, launches atop a rocket and might start flinging
folks into orbit by 2014. First stop, that giant waste of time and
metal, the International Space Station, and then by 2020, a good 50
years after our last visit, it’ll take us back to the moon.

And while we’re dicking around with this atmosphere-free rock only a
few miles away, like it’s 1967 or something, the Chinese are making a run for Mars, billionaires and madmen are building their own space fleets in the Mojave and UFOs are haunting little towns in southern Orange County. Maybe these are interesting times after all.
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