Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I've been following election returns tonight. I don't really care about the outcome as much as I enjoy the spectacle. It's like some sort of extremely perverted sport.

While checking the news items, I came across this photo of Earth and its moon, taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter back in October of last year.

If you look really closely, you can see Hillary, Obama, and McCain gathering lawyers in to corrals for the election this fall.

Actually, it is comforting to see how all our political chicanery is invisible from an interplanetary perspective.

A thousand years from now, people won't remember Barak Obama, or Hillary Clinton, or John McCain, unless you count ancient history scholars. But they will remember that this was the age when we left Earth to visit the moon and planets. Whether they look back on this as a golden age, or hopelessly primitive, I'll never know. But assuming both humanity and history still exists, this will be noted as the time when we first looked on the face of other worlds, and on our own from that perspective.

When people sneer at the accomplishments of the space program, and stomp their feet and demand that the resources would be better spent here on Earth, I take a great deal of unholy pleasure in thinking that I don't know the names of any of the critics of Galileo, or Columbus, or the Wright Brothers. None. I suspect the verdict of history will be similar for the small minds that insist that we stay here, where we 'belong', and forgo exploration to hew to whatever doctrine they count as important.


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