JOHN NOBLE WILFORD remembers Sputnik.
Plus, these depressing thoughts: “Some space age. It has been 35 years since anybody was on the Moon, or more than 300 miles from Earth, for that matter. ”
While there are some bright spots on the private-space side, it’s hard to argue against the proposition that the government’s space program has been a bust for the last 35+ years.
John Tierney has some thoughts on what should come next, with a proposal for the world’s plutocrats: “Youâ€™re too late to start a new age of exploration â€” Nikita S. Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy beat you to it â€” but a new world is there for the taking. Why waste your money on football teams or Americaâ€™s Cup yachts when you could send the first humans to Mars?” Plus this advice: “Whether you offer a prize or send your own expedition, insist that the ship carrying the first humans to Mars be named after you. Sure, youâ€™ll be accused of egotism, but pay the critics no heed. Theyâ€™ll be dead soon enough. Your name will live forever.”