Actually, I can’t see going to Mars.  I’m sure it will be done.  Not in my lifetime but maybe in the next 50 or 100 years.  Multiplied billions, yea even trillions will be spent.  It will be spent, of course, by Martians.  God knows WE can’t afford it. Unless the Chinese will loan us the money.

Meanwhile back on earth, where life, that can be detected without the aid of sophisticated and expensive instruments, goes on.  

I stayed up last night to see what the Mars Landing Machine Curiosity would do. What it did was to precipitate an orgy of hugging, yelling, grinning and exclaiming by a room full of engineers!  That alone was an event well worth the investment.   

But do we really need to re-create Star Trek in real time America, and go where no man has gone before?  By the way, I love Trekie clothes.  If only I could dress like Captain Picard.  Dr. Crusher could help with my belly fat.  No way I would appear in public in one of those tight fitting outfits with my gut hanging out there to be zapped by somebody’s phaser, or what’s that Romulan thing called – a discombobulator?

Seriously, I am impressed.  Two hundred fifty three days and over 380 million miles!  I suppose we will now be thinking and talking about the first peopled mission.  Unless there is a lot I don’t know – and that’s a pretty safe bet – it’s going to take years to even come up with an idea about a vehicle that will get people there and bring them home.  This is pure science.  Finding stuff and learning stuff and trying to see what it all means, while building the tools and machines that are needed along the way.  God, that’s purely thrilling!

Meanwhile, here, as I have said, in real time America,  life goes on.  We’ll try to pay our taxes, keep the grass down, pay attention to each other and cast the occasional eye toward the Red Planet, now and then, in recognition of our obligation to make it happen no matter what the cost.  We just have to keep those engineers hugging each other.

* * * * * *

Excuse me sir, but don’t you think you’re being a bit sarcastic?


Well, it sounded rather harsh – that part about engineers.

Why, some of my best friends are engineers.  Are you an engineer?

Well, as a matter of fact I am.

So what’s the problem?  Do you need a hug?

Well, No.  A little butt pat will do just fine, thank you.

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