The New Space Race

Don’t get me wrong. I love space. I love Star Trek and Isaac Asimov and I knew the names of all the planets before I knew the names of all the dinosaurs, which isn’t even possible for kids these days because there are so many more known dinosaurs, but I am starting to digress. I’m all in favor of paleontology as well, the more knowledge can advance in all directions, the greater we become.
But this blog is about space. I want to see a colony on Mars, I want to see mining of the asteroid belt become a thing, I want to see ever bigger, brighter, more sophisticated telescopes placed farther and farther from Earth. I want to see humanity colonize the universe, and I want to make contact with extraterrestrial species.
But this little space race that’s going on between Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson is a bit ridiculous. They aren’t advancing space research that much, although Musk has done some amazing things with his pinpoint landings that NASA could learn a thing or two from. They aren’t going to do the first untethered space walk, leave a permanent presence on any physical body outside the Earth, be the first to have sex in space, break any endurance records for time in space, or perform any scientific experiments at all.
They are going to go up, and they are going to come down. Once they break the Earth’s atmosphere, they will be weightless for a minute or two. I’m sure it will be a lot of fun, but it won’t advance the cause of science one bit. Basically, this is three useless, old men spending billions of dollars for the world’s most expensive amusement park ride, just so they can say they did and flaunt their magnificent wealth in the face of us peasants.
If they all burn up and die on re-entry, I won’t be sad about it. Very few people will be.

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