Three years ago I wrote about how dumb America has become, The Dumbing Down Of America, going from a nation that put men on the moon to a nation where we worship transvestites and allow adult men to shower naked with teenaged girls. As a kid I would have fully expected, based on where we were in the early 70s putting men on the moon, that by 2023 we would have landed manned missions on Mars and be building permanent settlements on the moon. At a minimum. Even now it seems like that should be attainable. We already have the foundations figured out from 50 years ago and as I like to point out, the computing power in the desktop I am sitting at would dwarf all of the computers they had available when planning out the moon landing. Thanks to men like Wernher von Braun and Jack Crenshaw, and not a team of super brilliant black women (see: We Wuz Assternotz And Sheeit!), the math to get a manned launch out of the atmosphere, over to the moon, landing the lander on the surface of the moon and then doing the whole thing in reverse and bringing that crew back home safely was figured out the old fashioned way.
More than half a century after the first moon landing, this last week hasn’t filled anyone with optimism for the future of space travel. First, the enormous SpaceX Raptor made it only 24 miles up before coming apart as the 33 engines failed. It did manage to wreck the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center with it’s 17 million pounds of thrust.
Then yesterday an unmanned lunar lander attempted to land on the moon, it would have been the first private craft to do so. It did not land very smoothly, nor did the stock price of ispace…
Shares of Tokyo-based ispace tumbled after the private company said its Hakuto-R Mission lander probably crashed while on approach to land on the lunar surface.
Recall, we provided a live stream of the lunar landing on Tuesday afternoon. About 25 minutes into the planned landing, there was a communications mishap.
Well, it turns out the lander probably crashed:
“It apparently went into a freefall towards the surface as it was running out of fuel to fire up its thrusters,” Ryo Ujiie, the chief technology officer, told a news conference on Wednesday.
Shares of ispace trading in Tokyo crashed 20% on the news.
They did achieve 8 of their 10 mission goals, but the big one didn’t happen…
The mission was run by a Japanese company, ispace, with a rover “developed by the United Arab Emirates” on a SpaceX rocket from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. They did get some nice pictures from lunar orbit…
…but pretty pictures don’t make up for a crash landing.
I don’t pretend to understand the math required to get a rover onto the surface of the moon but I do know that they shouldn’t have to be building this from scratch. When a new iPhone is designed, I assume Apple doesn’t start from scratch, they use the existing technology and tweak it. Wouldn’t it seem that half a century of space flight experience and unimaginable advances in computing power would make this process a whole lot easier than it was when I was in diapers?
Far from a bright and exciting new future of space exploration, we are apparently moving backwards. Sure we have faster computers and phones and streaming video speed but all of that is improving existing technology. I fear we are approaching a new Dark Ages as technology begins to fail and the number of people smart enough to fix it diminishes until there simply are not enough of them left to keep the toilets flushing and the lights on.
We could have been reaching the stars but instead we are left with fat black women twerking on cop cars.