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7-7-11. Okay, this isn't exactly related to the Mojave, but I have to get this off my chest. Our last space shuttle flight is upon us, and our government has decided to replace the shuttle with...nothing. That's right, folks, after the flight of STS-135, the United States of America will be out of the space business. This once proud spacefaring nation which put twelve humans on the surface of the moon is turning its back on fifty years of what Apollo 15 commander Col. David Scott called "Exploration at its greatest."

Aside from the loss of our space program, what does this signal? That we as a society no longer care about new frontiers? That our leaders feel that expanding our horizons and lighting the fire of our minds is no longer important? Does this mean that the toil of fifty years of American ingenuity is irrelevant? That the money spent in five dacades of space exploration is meaningless? That the lives lost, those of anonymous launch pad technicians and courageous astronauts such as Ted Freeman, Elliot See, Charles Bassett, C.C. Williams, Gus Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chaffee, Dick Scobee, Mike Smith, Ellison Onizuka, Ron McNair, Judy Resnik, Greg Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Rick Husband, Willy McCool, Kalpana Chawla, Mike Anderson, David Brown, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon, were for nought? That hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and achievment are to be swept under the rug at the convenience of politicians?

This is the example we leave for future generations of Americans -- of future generations of all countries? A legacy of abandonment? Of quitting? Of erasure of greatness for a political whim?

My friends and fellow countrymen, please write to your legislators and lobby hard for reversal of this policy. As Col. Scott said, "Man must explore." History has proven that the country which stops exploring, which abandons the reach for distant frontiers, is the country which stagnates and ultimately withers. We must, absolutely must, continue on our path to the stars.

Now please pardon me while I go to a private room and shed a tear.

-- Larry Turoski

 

All opinions, articles, editorials and bellyaches expressed here are not necesarily those of the staff, management, contributors, or sponsors of MojaveRoads.com. All are copyright (c) 2009 by Larry Turoski and/or MojaveRoads.com unless otherwise indicated. MojaveRoads.com recognizes its obligation to publish responses from responsible spokespersons who may disagree with our comments, but since it's our website and we're not public trustees, we'll only publish what we see fit, and if you don't like it, go grow your own. So there.

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