Monday, March 12, 2012



And now, released for KINDLE and... what's that antique form of reading material? Oh right, paperback...

Actually, the paperback of this old favorite has been out for awhile, but it seems digital forms of ways to READ BOOKS are actually moving faster now than SPACE TECHNOLOGY. Go figure.

Seems the hardbacks are getting harder to come by, and I'm beginning to think people have too much time on their hands if they're still requesting audio books. But then, if it inspires space buffs, I'm all for it.

As Stephen Hawking said, it's odd that at the pinnacle of scientific achievement in many fields, fewer and fewer youngsters aim to be scientists. Why is that, exactly? It cannot possibly be a shortage of reading material... I lost track of all the space-related materials released in the past few years to coincide with Apollo anniversaries, Russian milestone anniversaries, Space Shuttle retirement and plasma dynamics development and the intended evolution of space tourism.

It's rather depressing that the Amazon page for this book still has the 2009 release notes: "As early as 2010, paying customers will have the opportunity to experience weightlessness, courtesy of Virgin Galactic." Well, that didn't happen, did it.

Rocket ship
Do kids still do this? Do we need them to? Laugh if you like, but the boys in that picture probably thought we'd have an entire colony on Mars now.

Why don't we? And what will kick start the next wave? Will civilians be routinely launched into orbit? Are private sector billionaires poised to spur interest in new rocket science technologies where once only space agencies ruled?

If we plan to get to Mars by the 2030s or 2040s, and the average age of a space-faring explorer is about 37 years old, take a look around you at the age range that will be in training when we finally have the technology to make a Mars landing a reality.

Mission Control of the Future Laugh again, but you're looking at the future -- I hope. They're either about to take Driver's Ed class... or downloading Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber tunes to their smartphones. That's right, the ones with the toe rings and the spiky haircuts who won't pull up their pants... right down to the ones having Disney princess parties and water pistol wars.

They're going to Mars. Around the time I'm finally dipping into my IRA and learning how to knit. Food for thought. And it makes me want to buy every kid alive under the age of 15 a book about space travel... a Buzz Aldrin action figure... tickets to a planetarium... a toy rocket... a week at Space Camp...