Shadow in Space

I'm sure not many care, but this is the last voyage of the Starship Discovery, pictured above from last week, with the ISS casting a shadow from on high.

In many ways, the Space Shuttle is an apt metaphor for America over the past 50 years. To wit, born in a time of rapid advancement and progress (60's), milked for all it was worth by Regan and minions who offered nothing in return, and then left to meekly die because we've run out of money in the 21st century.

Summarized: With the rise of the Wingnuts, all long term planning/investment went out the window, and all efforts are made towards short term political gains, increasing wealth for you and yours, and making sure the little guys gets it in both ends. America! All while proclaiming one's great Patriotism.

We've got no replacement spaceship, and instead we're praying the private sector can come through. They might be able to, but even if they do, it's going to take awhile. And thus, in a weirdly poetic circle, Americans will now depend on Russians to get into space. USA! USA! Thanks again, Ronnie.

But alas! I did not want to touch that poison, for too long. Here's some neat-o shots of the ISS and the Space Shuttle. This first picture is from 2007, care of Phil Plait:
 That's the ISS and Space Shuttle shooting across the heavens, very close to each other. This next pic is from the current mission, and is awesome, as it was taken from earth:
 Click for big, as always.

Alas, it won't be till the Chinese make some real headway in space till America gets back in the game, because then the Redneck Wingnuts will say it's for defense, and the golden flow of money will commence. C'mon new Cold War (Chinese Space Version)!


l.e.s.ter said...

Wow, I had no idea that stuff was visible from Earth. I've watched satellites before, so it only makes sense, but I didn't put it together. Amazing, and sad that it's no longer a priority or interest for us.

Redshirt said...

There's a guy in France (Thierry Legault) who's breaking ground on lots of these recent pictures of the sun and space ships. He's got another one out today that's more incredible than this one - the first conclusive picture of a spacewalk from Earth.

Just an "amateur" is what makes it even more impressive.