This will be showcasing an EVA outing by Russian cosmonauts aided by US astronauts live today. I am sure we have some other people here who may have an interest in this.
My son has a great interest in the space program (and science fiction, as well). He became an electrician, following in my footsteps, but he has been fortunate to land on several projects here in the Los Angeles area which have given him a longed-for sense of connection with outer space and space travel.
He worked on a demolition project at the old Rocketdyne facility in Canoga Park (not the notorious Santa Susana Field Laboratory, thankfully), where they developed the Saturn rocket engines back in the 1960s.
Then he spent about a year working on various projects at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Pasadena, a dream come true for him. They were working on the Mars 2020 program at that time, and he saw Rover prototypes up close.
I’ve long felt
the downturn in US/Russian relationships has had a sad impact on the ISS program. People sometimes look at ISS as a vanity program but don’t realize how many important breakthroughs are made up there by virtue of being able to carry out experiments in that setting. The original station design was supposed to be much larger and would have served as a stepping stone towards establishing habitations in space and working around the practical problems of doing that.
The push now seems to be privatization and commercialization, with companies like SpaceX taking the lead. I guess Tom Cruise still plans to film something on the ISS. Find the funding wherever you can, I suppose. But you’re right, from what I’ve read there are still important scientific discoveries going on up there.
Maybe Biden can reignite the space race with Putin, following the example of Kennedy and Khrushchev. We can establish two colonies on different planets: Conservatoria, for all the disgruntled conservatives who are dissatisfied with life on earth, having to coexist with liberals (this should be based on Mars, the red planet); and Progressoria, a home away from earth for liberals who can’t get along with conservatives anymore (I guess this will have to be on Neptune, the other blue planet). This ambitious project should have broad-based support .
The space race was both a disaster and a triumph. Had both sides pooled their knowledge it would have been better, but that was never going to happen. That the CCCP, a nation which was 40 years prior to 1957 a nation only a couple of generations removed removed from much of its populace being serfs stuck the first satellite into orbit was amazing. But the Soviet space porgram relied heavily on some key individuals like Korolev and others and also it’s industry reached its limitations after a point and the Energia rockets in particular proved to be beyond it and would probably to be honest have been beyond any countries ability to produce at the time. Both sides scored a number of noteworthy firsts at the race went on though and some of the things both sides have achieved have yet to be built on now.
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