To Date

 As always, click for big. This is, in the new, hip style, an infographic of every mission beyond Earth. You can see where we (humanity, meaning mostly the USA, USSR, and the EU) have collectively put our priorities, to date. My big takeaway is look how few missions to Saturn there have been, and yet one of them - Cassini - is incredible beyond belief. And still going!

Fret plenty, however, since as Russia has taken a nosedive, and America's looking to do the same, who knows how many future missions to space at all lie in our collective future. I fear perhaps we are on the edge of a rollback of human progress. Maybe China will save us all. Maybe not.

But, let us not worry about that now. Instead, behold, every single human rocket:
While impressive, collectively and each in their own way (think of the effort that went into every one), it's also mildly depressing. It takes so much effort to simply go the 60 or so miles (straight up) to get to the very edge of space. Alas! Such is the reality of living at the bottom of a gravity well.

And perhaps there's more hope for our future than I admit, at the moment. Private enterprise is blazing paths governments feared to tread. If the profit is there, and our infrastructure on Earth stays relatively stable, we might still have our space mining, asteroid living future. But then, it will be profit driven, and no doubt that asteroid will be owned by Yoyodyne or some such, and all the folks involved will be playing according to their dime. Which can be summarized in the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, and not in any kind of Utopian Trek "What's money, man?" Directive. And so we'll simply export our Dystopia to space.



Knight of Nothing said...

This is cool - but do you have a bigger version of the image, or can you point me to the original? It's difficult to read, even at full size.

Redshirt said...

Hi, thanks for the feedback. I updated the image and it seems like it's a bit bigger.

Knight of Nothing said...

Nuts - the font is still too small for my old eyes. But it is really cool - I take it you made the image yourself then? Well done!

Redshirt said...

That image is not my creation. Not sure who made it - I got it from a PopSci article some time ago, I think.

My sourcing is atrocious.

Anonymous said...

One of the issues with Star Trek's "what is money" philosophy is later writers could not even be consistent. The biggest one I remember solely on Earth is stating there are transporter credits but there were minor slips other places along with a lot of inequality in housing accommodations. The main thing that could end most use of money would be extremely cheap replicator technology for most items but really money is pretty much just a gauge for how scarce something is and unless we are building infinite space ships, houses, teleporters, comunications there is some sort of scarcity.

Which brings up why the hell is there still menial jobs being presented in the future, what is motivating those people in the Federation doing those tasks? If you do nothing do you get access to a crappy apparent and basic replicator usage, take a job doing little things get a little higher level apartment plus some nice vacation time and after promotions get continually better perks. If that is the case then you kind of eliminated money at the transaction by having a tiered membership level system, which at least eliminates poverty but for most of the rest of society functions similarly except you can not fun up debt but then needs some sort either centralized or more likely federated (pun intended) planing, which tends to be the biggest waste of resources and slowest to react of any type of government.

Redshirt said...

What Trek are your referring to? TOS? Or all of them? I know DS9 had money-like situations, but I assumed that was because of the location on the space station and non-fed types on board.

TNG was pretty "MONEY BAD".

I could see a scenario where there is no money, but you get credits for "extras" - like holosuite privileges, or vacations to exotic locales.

Even in a society where all is provided, surely there are still social hierarchies? Was Picard just some other dude back on Earth, or still the Captain of the Federation flagship?