At the risk of being a #spacedad (those people I lovingly taunt on Twitter for commentating blow-by-blow on any and all SpaceX/NASA/ESA/Blue Origin/etc test or launch as a multi-nerd multicast), this week’s newsletter is a clutch of space/astronomy-related items. Having been on the road the past two weeks, my external research topic kungfu is weak at the moment, and I’m holding back a few things for a larger thread on dark data for a future issue.
Having grown up in the end of the 60s and 70s, I was a child of the peak NASA period—the later Apollo years through the early Shuttle program. I’m one of a small number of Apollo-Soyuz
hipsters (I had the mission crew photo on my wall at the time, and learned the first of my eventual Russian language education reading the mission materials). I’ve had the privilege to do a little work on behalf of the agency, and have a particular fascination for nascent space programs beyond the dominant US-Europe-Japan-Russia quadrangle. I have a hard time working up enthusiasm for private space exploration though, which I know appeals to many with as a pungent cologne of Starkian sci-fi/startup woo. I’m not a big comic reader or TV series consumer, so that’s lost on me. Perhaps it’s also a suspicion of the private exploitation of public space, literally. I still see space as commons more than underexploited territory. Which is, of course, ridiculous when you consider nobody asked me/us, and for all we know, something else has been down to the deed office before us, filing the proper paperwork. Space is hard, not a skip-and-jump to the outer planets
as some would like to imagine. The effort, and the benefits, should bring returns to all, not a few. And cultures other than the usual suspects should have room to express their own aspirations for space exploration. Even non-humans.
Lastly, as 7,463 people have pointed out
in the past 36 hours, today is the incept date of Tyrell’s finest black-eyed assassin, Pris Stratton, so a big happy bootday to her. Tyrell taught Apple everything they know about built-in obsolescence.