Time marches on, priorities shift, and old dreams are shelved in the face of new realities. While the final flight of shuttle Atlantis doesn’t mark the end of either NASA or the U.S. space program, it may be a good long while before we send American astronauts into space with the regularity to which we’ve grown accustomed.Fred Warren on Jul 12, 2011
Time marches on, priorities shift, and old dreams are shelved in the face of new realities. While the final flight of shuttle Atlantis doesn’t mark the end of either NASA or the U.S. space program, it may be a good long while before we send American astronauts into space with the regularity to which we’ve grown accustomed. Thus, I offer…
Astronaut Career Moves After Termination of the Space Shuttle Program
- Advisor to the China National Space Administration
- Docent at Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
- Have brain installed in robot body, then reapply to NASA
- Official Tweeter for Mars Rover Curiosity
- Buzz Lightyear character performer, Walt Disney World
- Member of Congress
- Executive Director of SETI@Home
- Pilot, Virgin Galactic Spaceways
- Enter cryogenic suspended animation and wait for mission to Mars
- Science fiction writer specializing in tales of future American manned space missions
…feel free to add your own suggestions.
I like #10 best, and I look forward to reading your books!
Another possible solution, for Christian astronauts …
11. Live live to glorify Christ in many other ways, while dreaming of the day when finally, on the resurrected New Earth under His physical rulership, they can participate in the New Earth Vintage Space Shuttle Hobbyists’ Association.
Yes, I have no doubt we’ll have at least one incarnation of those. It would be similar to how railroad enthusiasts have model railroads, or actual railroads, to commemorate their favorite outmoded transportation.
And finally, I must admit I watched the shuttle launch, and felt disappointment, and queued the actual launch — despite the two countdown holds — perfectly with my soundtrack of the Apollo 13 launch sequence. This was both dramatic and resulted in scientific discovery, for I found that, as best I could tell, the timing of booster rocket separations for the shuttle must be similar to the timing for the old Apollo rocket booster rocket separations. How could I tell? The music from the film hit the same queues for the booster separations I saw in real life. Am I right? Thoughts?
Stephen: Very impressed that you even thought to do that with the soundtrack. Way cool. As to the timing, I guess that would depend on whether the launch sequence in the film ran on real time from launch to separation. It’s been a long time since I watched Apollo 13.
But why wait for the New Earth? No reason we can’t charter the club right now!
Karen: Thanks! I’m partial to #2 myself–low stress, no advanced medical procedures required, doesn’t require a work visa, and doesn’t involve making a fool of yourself in public. Or tweeting. And unlike the writing job, pays in real money. 🙂
From my memory of the behind-the-scenes information I viewed, they did show that sequence in real time.
Hey, we could, but I think here on Old Earth it would be all model spaceships and reminiscing and hopes, and not actual working cars railroads — er, shuttle missions.
Further column idea: does modern Christianity in America have a culture encouraging people to help explore creation and get into actual operations science (I am not talking here about social stuff and secular evolution nonsense) now? Or do we indeed ignore that stuff, downplay its significance, or otherwise react to it in accidental Gnostic ways?
Regrettably, if the answer is that we only emphasize “spiritual” vocations and overcorrect for abuse of real science by ignoring science, then there are indeed valid reasons behind secularists’ accusations that Christians are “anti-science.”
No anti-science Christian here 🙂 Unlike most writers who dreamed about becoming a writer at age 6, science was my love (I was even part of science olympiad and other science competing clubs including one that I had to have the entire periodic table memorized… I know, nerdy, right?). Still love science, even though I pursue writing now.
Fred, you led me on with that post title. I’ve been looking for a job for 2 months now, thought you would give me some tips on how to land a job 🙂
Stephen: Oh, vintage model club with real shuttles. That’s a horse of a different color. I can wait.
I’m not seeing any hostility toward science, generally speaking, though evangelical congregations probably get more excited about their kids going into ministry vocations than anything else. Not surprising, and not a bad thing. I think there’s a tacit understanding that anything we do can be “ministry,” if we approach it prayerfully and with that mindset.
As you noted, it’s the forays into social engineering or lack of respect for the sanctity of human life that get people riled up. I expect folks outside the church have trouble distinguishing ‘hostility to science’ from ‘hostility to ethically-challenged scientists.’
Some might argue all that research money would be better spent feeding the poor (hmm, that sounds familiar), but ironically, advances in agricultural science have done just that. Scientist is a pretty high-status job in American culture, right up there with Doctor, or TV Spokesmodel, and I haven’t met anyone yet in or out of church who thinks rockets and pictures from space aren’t cool, but maybe I don’t get out enough.
Morgan: Sorry about that. However, I expect lots of openings for #6 come this fall.
Lol! Actually, just after posting that I went to a job interview and got the job! Whoot! So no congress for me. I’m not a good liar so I don’t think I would make a good politician 😛
How might the exploratory spirit work regarding space?
1. No functioning space vehicles
2. Low orbit, near earth activity
3. A space station
4. Landing on the moon
Ummm, hang on, didn’t they do that already, only in reverse order? So what’s happening? We seem to be running backwards, like an old clock winding down.
I can’t help but think it has to do with that Year 2000. I spent half a century waiting for the Year 2000. It was going to be so special, but I didn’t actually think it would ever materialise. When we got there it seem on the surface that nothing happened. But perhaps deeply underneath the future ended. After all, we don’t have the Year 2000 to look forward to anymore. We just got left here, tossed a few technological toys to distract ourselves with and have to sit around waiting for things to shrink back towards the cave.
Heh. I’m too sad to joke about it yet. 🙁 Watching the last space shuttle go up brought me to tears. Those shuttles have been going up since I was a young munchkin. Bye bye to a dream.