Sounds like old time. Very old time. In the mid-1960s, when Project Gemini, a trailblazing single project aimed at the moon, took a two-passenger break between Mercury’s aircraft and the apocalyptic three-man Project Apollo mission.
Benheken and Hurley, veterans of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration – it’s NASA to you – who once embarked on a shuttle mission, will make their first voyage aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which will be upgraded to the space agency’s re-space agency orbit. A usable, reusable Falcon 9 rocket. By Thursday, they will call the International Space Station for an indefinite stay with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Russian astronauts Anatoly Evanshin and Evan Wagner.
The initiative is being funded by commercial businesses, especially one founded and presided over by millionaire and space travel preacher Elon Musk. All the adventures that were the only province.
Yet no one can help noticing that this unprecedented moment in American history is taking place in the midst of a global epidemic where millions of people have died and many millions more are working and homeless.
This somewhat inconsistent conflict of circumstances will probably raise questions from both concerned and grieving citizens of NASA and Kasturi: We’re sitting on our hands and when are we literally dying for a vaccine or cure for Covid-19 and you’re choosing – now – to stage this shiny, noisy shot in the dark on TV? Where are the priorities here?
I doubt that such questions would be even this polite. Assurances from all concerned that these plans will not be implemented before the coronavirus is detected four months ago will not be accepted. Or is it the meaning of Muskie and not the taxpayers who are most at risk in this endeavor.
Think back to 19 able65 and 19 back66 if you were able, when Project Gemini seemed to shoot two of his crew for a multi-day mission every other month and bring them back alive every time. They came in a decade, an era when the nation was eager and encouraged to embrace great potential in all areas of life, whether at ease or on the road.
We are no longer optimistic about including human space travel in our national concern, although it is helpful to note that Americans were still surprised, especially after the deadly Apollo 1 fire in 1967, almost immediately after Gemini’s final mission to the Soviet Union. Whether hitting the moon is important enough to invest billions of dollars.
Yet, half a century later, Apollo 11 has met the goal set by President John F. Kennedy (“landed a man on the moon and brought him back to Earth safely”).
It will be just nostalgia for people to bring their viewing screens on Wednesday (or if the launch is postponed on Saturday). However, one also feels that some of the initial awakening may also occur. “Incredible excitement towards scientific possibilities, so that” Why are we doing this? “Instead of asking, we ask: ‘Well, if we can still do it, why can’t we cure the disease that is killing our people and our wealth?’
Does anyone have a better idea?