Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The future is never what it used to be: the last flight of the Space Shuttle


If you have five minutes, you can look at the future as Stanley Kubrik saw it in 1968, in his movie "2001, A Space Odissey." The sequence of the space docking is especially beautiful and especially touching for us, today, with the last Space Shuttle mission programmed for tomorrow, June 8.

It is the end of an age - the age of manned spaceflight. The future is never what it used to be.


  1. Quim made a similar post some months ago: El fin de la exploración espacial. This is sad for us, scientists, but just a part of our predicament in the energy descent era.

  2. Prof, NASA officially announced 8 July 2011 as the launch date of the STS-135 mission.


  3. Well, the end of U.S. Government-owned manned spaceflight, at least. There are plenty of billionaires and multimillionaires who are dedicating their fortunes to trying to develop and colonize space, and I think it's still a dead heat as to whether they succeed before energy costs are so high that all spaceflight is priced out. If they can get enough resources in space, however, and start harnessing resources from space, they might just succeed.


    See also http://www.commercialspaceflight.org/who_we_are.shtml

  4. l' esplorazione spaziale e' una bufala che permette esperimenti sull' ombrello difensivo mericano e' chiaro che il pianeta non sopravviverebbe ad un esodo massiccio pero' l'ascensore per la fascia geostazionaria potrebbe servire per lanciare i rifiuti verso il sole
    - fantascenza? si, ma anche l'idea di Kubrik che la nostra intelligenza dipenda da un intervento esterno e' chiaramente consolativa probabilmente e' bene che l' uomo "sapiens" scompaia se non e' in grado di evolversi in "Homo in exelsis"
    lo so di essere matto
    non c'e' bisogno che lo pensiate -
    coldialmente Guido Grossi

  5. Yes, manned spaceflights never made much sense anyway, and that Lovelock in an interview is saying he is wishing to make a "virgin spaceflight", in order to see the earth "from the outside", clearly points to a very little intellectual mindset, as if a picture wasn't sufficient to see that ..



Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome and the author of "Extracted: how the quest for mineral resources is plundering the Planet" (Chelsea Green 2014). His most recent book is "The Seneca Effect" to be published by Springer in mid 2017