Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Where's europa station?

I, for one, am extremely disappointed there is still no moon base, whilst the opportunity of winning a global lottery to spend 24 hours basking in the weak (compared to our relative goldilocked position)  sunlight, streaming through slightly thickened windows in a station circling one of jupiters moon (europa), is as distant now as when science fiction first came up with the idea.

Sadly, the publics eye doesn't seem to care that much for space and its exploration any more.  It appears to engender even less excitement than that of elusive particles flying around a ring.  However, focus our  fluttering attention  around the tangibles of the next whizzy mobile ultra-spec'd anything, or whether the winner of the latest reality show really deserved to win - or did they simply make that story of a death defying plunge to save a bus load from the jaws of certain doom all up - and we're easily reeled.

I suppose the immediacy of watching a winner go through their paces showing similar (to a portion of  watchers at least) emotions, stresses and joys, comes across on a far more personal and meaningful level, than would a floating can filled with people they didn't really know about.  Who, from day to day, hadn't really done much, except travel a few more thousand kilometres since the last time they checked, with the most excitement coming from the crew managing to loose some contents from their freeze-dried gourmet desert as the ships slowly dodged a grain of sand that was heading their way.

It would be nice to think that in 20 years time as we begin to realise the plight of the planet we're continuing to ravenously chomp through, like a nest of ants discovering a very large pot of honey, that maybe our current choices really aren't that sustainable.  And if we're only going to do exactly the same  on other planets out there, but with far more efficiency, then really, why are we going out there for?  Or are we going to go out there to experience the marvels, spectacles and who knows actually find stuff whilst recognising we're part of something wonderful all around us.

All those trillons spent on wars, could have being spent insuring everyone has something to eat.  That everyone has water that's clean to drink.  Who knows, maybe all that money might have stretched to include a bit of tarpaulin over their heads; with enough left over for missions a plenty.

Maybe one day someone will indeed be the lucky winner of a 24 hour ticket to a station floating around europa, and the whole world (well the human bit at any rate, and since i'll probably be dead, i'm excluding myself from that equation) might just zoom in, to watch a bit of reality that despite been in their immediate spatial vicinity, is well and truly beyond their navel.

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