After SpaceX’s “loss of mission.” But are we missing something here?
Aldrin, lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission here:
True, the ripple effects from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster going boom in the Florida skies are many. But the take-home message given the NASA-private sector bond is one of striving for reliability, safety, but also affordability.
Joining me in this view is my longtime friend, Norm Augustine, retired Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin. “Successes in commercial space transportation are not only important in their own right, they also free NASA to do that which it does best … namely, push the very frontiers of space and knowledge.”
So let’s press ahead beyond a failure to future successes. Cultivating new capabilities that drive down costs and further secure a private sector toehold in low Earth orbit is a clear window to see our space future.
Sounds great, but nagging questions linger: As Neil Turok of the Perimeter Institute noted recently,
… the “large bandwagon” of the last 30 years has not found experimental support. The bandwagon in question is the Standard Model of particle physics established in the 1970s, which, he says, people have been elaborating ever since. “Grand unified theories, supersymmetry, string theory, M-theory, multiverse theory,” he lists. “Each is not particularly radical, but is becoming ever more complex and arbitrary.”
To illustrate the lack of experimental support for these ideas, Turok describes how many people were hoping string theory would represent a radical development; but since string theory – as currently interpreted – leads to the multiverse, Turok describes it as the “least predictive theory ever”. More.
That is, outer space is still out there, but inner space may now be somewhere else. To the extent that the true commitment is to exotic, evidence-free theories that support naturalism, one fact soon becomes apparent: The multiverse is way cheaper than the exploration of actual existing space.
And budgets are tight. Readers?
See also: How it got so crazy?
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