May 15th, 2009

in motion

virtual star trek

Not the movie, the slide show.  While astronauts attempt spacewalking repairs on the Hubble Telescope, it seems like a good time to look at some new pictures from the great beyond.  By the way, did you know people are tweeting from space now?  It's the mix of perfectly commonplace, unexceptional tech with WTF this is fantasy jet-pack stuff that makes me feel like the future has somehow happened to us without our noticing.

Check out a slide show of images from last month:

My favorite are #10 -- "Weird Mars" -- and #21, "Flying Saucer".  Isn't it funny how we still use pulp 1950's terms to convey a sense of amazement about outer space?  I wonder if we as a culture will ever feel so sincerely optimistic and excited about the possibilities of space exploration again, without a looming crisis, like the Cold War or the threat of extinction, to drive that kind of urgency, or at least to make the whole project seem cost-efficient.  I hear they're going to release a new edition of Bradbury's Martian Chronicles soon; how will those stories play to modern readers?  They were already old-fashioned when I read them as a kid, but in such a lovely way, and back then it was easier to imagine we might find actual Martians living on the red planet. 

Though the real Mars can stir the imagination still.

martian twilight