glowing nodes, lacy webs — a
fern frost of power.
Did anyone see the premiere episode of Cosmos last weekend? I sure did. In case you don’t already know this, I’m a fan of Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson. With the way that research science has been shafted out of funding in the past fourteen years, I’ve often been frustrated by this idea that all of the scientists who comprise the community have skin in the game, yet so few are charismatic and bold enough to put feet on the street to oppose those powers that would rob us of the opportunity to work on those advances that may be just around the corner. Doctor Tyson does a lot of this. Like his late mentor Doctor Carl Sagan, he gets out there; he performs talks and interviews, hosts shows to help inform the laity and show that science programs are an essential part of human progress. He also indicates at times that we have dramatically slowed progress in some of our science programs.
Despite that, I am certain that we will soon see a resurgence in scientific advancement – not just in product advancement (which I think we get a little too excited about,) but new forward pushes in space travel as SpaceX fires its first full-scale reusable rocket on March 30th, which will cut the cost of sending things into space to one-twentieth its current cost. Other ideas for pushing space exploration and colonization forward involve refueling in space, using robotic drones as scouts and assistants to astronauts, and “faxing” DNA between Earth and other locations for assembly and study, among other things. We’re getting these ideas out and putting them into action, and thanks to science we will someday see practical applications compiled into awe-inspiring projects that drive humanity toward off-world expansion.
As we pervade our extraplanetary spaces, watch as the lacy webs of light stretch out like the silk filament from a spider’s spinneret toward the heavens – to our space stations; to Luna; to Mars, and beyond.
Can you imagine the Solar system frosted with the light of human civilization?
Chew on that as you live your adventure.