The End of an Era: NASA’s Space Shuttle Atlantis has docked with the International Space Station for the Last Time.

With the Retirement of the Space Shuttle program and the last mission for Space Shuttle Atlantis it is quite inspiring to look at how far NASA has come and how much the International Space Station (ISS) has grown, but at the same time it is quite disappointing to realize that the ideal portrayed in many science fiction movies is still such a long way off. It is such a costly process to get things into Space, that we are eons away from anything near the scale and capabilities of a Star Ship Enterprise.

The current idea being promoted by some of the commercialization in space brings some scary thoughts to mind, since corporations here on earth are rather notorious for allowing minus safety violations to go unchecked in order to save the bottom dollar line. It seems very questionable that a company can make a profit in terms dollar, considering the rigid and costly safety requirements necessary and the general high costs of space travel. Sure there have been many achievements in recent times such as a vaccine for Salmonella, but most achievements like that are of a relatively innumerable and unquantifiable dollar value.

Nonetheless, it is encouraging to see the peaceful atmosphere of comradery that is inspired by space travel. The astronauts embraced and appeared very excited and energized when they arrived at the Space Station, despite our culture’s familiarity and understanding that while low earth orbit is nice it is far short of a return to the moon, or travel to a distance planet. Although, they promote the size as bigger than Apollo it still seems small to me, and especially when compared to the science fiction ideal, but yet it is a start and a means to venture beyond low earth orbit.

This is why this new crew exploration vehicle is very much needed, to inspire hope for the future of mankind. Albeit, ultimate hope is in the next life, but space travel is still a noble endeavor that seems to turn people towards God, through the sheer sense of awe and wonder, that gets them thinking about the vastness and greatness of space. Especially, now that we have a small realization of the incredible size and ungraspable nature of the universe, and can thus now have the proper perspective: that we can never quite reach the domain of God through this, but only hope to get an ever increasing glimpse of His Majesty and power.

Leave a Reply