February 03, 2010
Hot on the heels of Big O deciding to turn NASA from a space agency to a global-warming tracker, Iran is announcing that Kavoshgar-3 (translated as Explorer-3) has been successfully launched into space with a mouse, a couple of turtles, and some worms on it.
Why, do you ask, does this matter, when many other countries have done the same thing with more advanced species?
Well, aside from the implications of Iran having a fully functioning space program on national defense and security (if you can send a ship to space, you can send a rocket just about anywhere), there is our own standing in the world as a strong power in technology and space to consider. While Iran continues to push forward with nuclear technology that we definitely don't like, they also plan on having a man in orbit within the next ten years. Meanwhile, we've decided to stop working on spacecraft that have the potential to take a man beyond orbit.
Space travel is about the first half of Obama's campaign platform - hope. About the hope and desire of mankind, and Americans, to make an impact, not just on our earth, but on the universe. To know what's out there and what it's like, to learn new things about the marvels around us, and, to get a little Trekkie on you, "to seek out new life and explore strange new worlds."
But, I guess, that's just not the kind of hope that Obama was talking about.
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