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22 Today…

… well, I would be, if I’d been born on Mars; I much prefer to count birthdays in Mars years now, as there are two Earth years to every Mars year…

So… here we are then… “one year off halfway-to-90” as someone put it… cripes, there’s a thought…  But what the hell happened to The Future I was promised when I was growing up? What happened to all the amazing adventures I’d be having – or at least following – that I was reading about in books and magazines when I was at junior school? What happened to the “Space Age” I saw depicted so vividly on TV science programs when I was in my late teens and early twenties?

Who do I complain to? Whose office door do I bang on and demand to know where my rocket back pack is? Who do I write or email to ask where they put my Jetsons flying car? It’s 2009 now, and it’s become painfully obvious that no, CDs won’t “last forever”, like Maggie Philbin promised me they would on Tomorrow’s World. And surprise, surprise, my desk is STILL covered in paper, even though the same Maggie Philbin promised me the whole world would be “paperless” by 2000, and we’d all use Star Trek-type PADS instead…

But more to the point, what happened to all the brilliant spacey stuff I was supposed to be seeing now? I know, I know, we have spaceprobes scattered throughout the solar system, beaming back spectacularly beautiful images of Earth’s sister worlds, and I can drool over them, for free, on t’internet… and I know we’re exploring Mars, my favourite planet,  in incredible detail, seeing literally wonderful new things every day… and I know we have a space station in orbit, and private spaceflight is starting to get serious… But where’s the sprawling international Moon base I was promised when I was growing up, complete with gorgeous green, red and white Eagle transporters skimming low and silently over the endless grey lunar hills?


Where’s the first fledgeling manned Mars base, with its handful of little pressurised rovers chugging around it, and astronauts beavering away in tiny lab modules analysing the rocks they gathered?


Where are all the space hotels I was told would be spinning away in orbit “when I grew up”?( And where’s HOTOL? How come that beautiful sleek spaceplane hasn’t flown?)


Oh, come on! It’s 2009! How come, after all the rovers and landers and orbiters we’ve sent there, we still don’t know if there’s life on Mars? Why have we still not detected a SETI signal?

Come on people!!!! Am I the only one frustrated here?! Am I the only one who thinks it’s ridiculous that the brave men and women who risk their lives to travel into space are still exiled in low Earth orbit, and aren’t yet feeling the scrunch of lunar dust or the crunch of martian duricrust beneath their boots? Am I the only one who wants to scream at the sky in rage and fury that it’s wrong we are we sitting here on the cold stone wall of the dock, looking out longingly at a glittering ocean of stars and planets, too timid to wade out even a little and get our feet wet?


Jeez… we really stalled somewhere, didn’t we?

Just saying. 



4 Responses

  1. “Jeez… we really stalled somewhere, didn’t we?”

    Communism, Socialism, Welfare and Pork Barrel politics. Yeah, the stall happened somehow ….

  2. We stalled because we lost our “why,” or reason for going.

    In the past it was to beat the Russians. We did that, and afterwards space became the realm of science fiction writers and robots.

    Unless we rediscover our why (or gain a new one) we may be watching the Chinese land their first astronaut on the Moon.

  3. I’m with you on this – I was at least hoping for Knight rider type cars that would drive themselves:-)

  4. The problem is, that most of the “future” stuff people don’t want. we like paper, we don’t trust cars enough to drive themselves. the technology has been there for years. people are just not very accepting of it. now that the private space sector is starting to get up and running. we will begin to see some movement again. But as darnell said. we don’t have a reason to do these things. sure it sounds and looks cool. but there is very little value for the massive cost of doing such things. I wish that it was a profitable thing to make space useable, but the truth is. only rich people looking for their next thrill is the only currently potential income for now.

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