Or: My complicated feelings about space. Not social distancing space… outer space.
I love space, I love astronauts, I love rockets. One of the coolest things I ever watched was a nighttime space shuttle launch when I was visiting with my Dad in Florida.
For the last few years I’ve been watching SpaceX launch and land their rockets. Each landing (and explosion) was one step closer toward re-energizing our sluggish space exploration.
But this weird space tourism detour has really left a bad taste in my mouth. Do we really need to do this?
There was a point in time where I would have been super jazzed up about William Shatner going into space but today I’m … meh. I’m glad he had a good time and I’m glad he didn’t die. But it’s so stunty and I’m kind of repulsed by it.
Even my favorite astronaut, Chris Hadfield, is in on it. He sits on Virgin Galactic’s Space Advisory Board and — ugh! Dude, you studied and worked so hard to become an astronaut and accomplish all you have and now you’re promoting this?
It’s not that it’s not NASA. I don’t care that it’s not NASA. Even thought I think Musk is a twerp and Bezos is a d-list Bond villain, they (more Musk than Bezos) have really pushed space travel much more forward than we ever could with government funding in a country where people are willingly taking horse dewormer.
And if nobody in the capsule is flipping switches, isn’t it just a glorified ten-minute amusement park ride?
Am I being unreasonable and a stick in the mud? Convince me this is not just a weird bro-flex.
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