Monday, July 20, 2009

Houston…we have drainage

On this the fortieth anniversary of the human visit to the Moon, we have the front page story of the toilet successfully repaired on the Space Station. Pretty cool contrast yet I remember the film 2001: A Space Odyssey and how much of that film consisted of routine space duty stuff as well as the astronauts just sitting around drawing and losing games of chess to HAL. Pretty mundane. There was even that hoaky bit where one of the astronauts had a video telecasted birthday. How sweet. I wonder if Kubrick had a bit of toilet humor in the original script? Something where HAL plays a trick and hides the paper or something. Can you imagine HAL watching you while you do your business?

So now the old astronauts want us to go to Mars. Well, this is not a great time to be asking the taxpayer for more funding for anything, really. And besides, what the moon race was about was just that, a race. We never intended to deploy anything lasting there. I have a hard time celebrating this space exploration stuff. It’s just too surreal given all the homeless people I see each day in this area of the city.

I appreciate that astronauts need to go to the restroom, but that plumbing job cost a great deal and NASA needs a bit of continued perspective to ensure we don’t race to a planet for the sake of the trip.

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