Thursday, October 04, 2007

Something to really get excited about

I've not written yet about the Lutheran CORE gathering because I didn't want to scoop myself. Yes, I have a full report in the November issue of Forum Letter, which is shortly going to press. Those who subscribe to the e-mail edition will probably receive it in a week or so. Those of us who prefer to have the hard copy delivered by the Snail (note: that refers to the USPS as an institution; Don the Postman is a fine letter carrier, as one ought to expect from a faithful Christian) will need to wait -- unless the good editors decide to post it as a special on ALPB Online. Alas, it seems no one else has written about it either, so I guess I'll try writing something from a different perspective. Watch here for a report of an encouraging gathering.

50 years ago today, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik into orbit. For a couple of really cool retrospectives, check this video snip from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory or this report from the New York Times. Oh, check out The Space Review this week, too. All these will help give you an inkling of why I have a web page entitled I Want to Go! I shouldn't be playing in Peoria; I should be walking on the Moon!

How hugely disappointing that 38 years after first landing on the Moon, NASA can barely get a manned ship into orbit. If someone had told me when I was 12 that I'd be in my 60s by the time we were building the first American Moon base, I would have laughed and laughed at such a crazy idea. Yet, here we are, hoping the Space Shuttles will last long enough so that we are earth bound for only a few years before the latest NASA plan begins to bear fruit. ("Dear Ann Landers, if we can put a man on the Moon, how come we can't put a man on the Moon?") Fortunately, there are private companies like XCOR and Virgin Galactic private-sector initiatives like the X PRIZE. But, my, how short-sighted this nation has been...

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