Monday, May 16, 2005

It's OK, We Don't Need to Breathe...

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This is several days late but the news from the space station is, the oxygen generator has finally popped off. Not to worry for a few more months...meanwhile, the space shuttle sits inert and NASA says they will retire it and want to build a shiny new toy...only Congress is cutting things, even the Pentagon. Everything and anything that isn't Iraq is being cut. Meanwhile, Iraq continues to grind through the gold and Congress can't understand this is a total waste unlike....who needs oxygen?

What is this space station for now? The whole premise is lost in the mists of time. Lucky me, I was there when it was born, long ago, as an idea. I remember why we wanted this thing built. It was the predecessor for the L-5 Space colonies half way between the moon and the earth, balanced there nicely so we could stage....interstellar flights. The whole point of the matter.

Not to go to Mars.

Not to go to the moon.

Not to dominate the earth though some thought this was better. Anyone here watch Japanese anime? Like the famous Gundam series? It is a mecha series that is all about the wars of the L-5 habitats vs the Moon dwellers and the Earthlings. Everything gets trashed by giant robots, of course. But all the animation takes place in a stunning environment based on real scientific studies of building habitats in space. I watch with amazement and horror as things we worked on so naively are blown up because of wretched political problems and personal vendettas.

It is rather realistic, actually.

The space colonies spawned by the Star Trek series take place in a very nonspecific time, place and facility. Same results, though.

The present space station exists in this phobic state of nonentity. Bush never mentions it. Congress seems not even dimly aware of it except when the annual bills come in, then they grumble. It plays a near zero role in popular imagination. Maybe the famous "runaway bride" should had abducted herself to it! Or maybe Paris Hilton and decamp there.

Right now this is in Russian news because Putin, not in a good mood since Bush's archane visit, is complaining about American freeloaders. Maybe this is why the oxygen generator isn't working. It is Russian. Putin wants Bush to pay for the evacuation pod. And the oxygen generator. And anything else there. He recognizes this station has really no function now. He is expecting to see it evacuated so....does anyone in America realize the Chinese and Japanese are in a space race? I suppose they can play Gundam Seed Destiny at the soon to be abandoned space station.