Space exploration

We haven’t said much about the space shuttle disaster, mostly because we didn’t have anything useful to say. It is worth noting, however, that the Galileo spacecraft is now approaching Jupiter, fourteen years after being launched for the purpose of exploring that planet. The picture below is an artist’s rendering of Galileo and Jupiter.

There has been a fair amount of discussion about the future of the space program in the blogosphere as well as in conventional media. For what it’s worth, I think the space program must and will continue. It is human (and American) nature to want to explore and to understand the world we live in. On the other hand, I don’t think there is any particular pace at which space exploration need be carried out. The federal government is spending proportionately far less on the space program today than in the 1960’s, when spending was fueled by our race with the Soviet Union. That’s probably appropriate, in my view. But it is good to see projects like Galileo coming to fruition.

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