We’re not all going to make it.

To quote the inestimable Nick Land, “Equity means no one gets to Mars.” Apparently, some people agree with him, and have taken that as a mission statement: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/02/mars-is-no-earth/618133/

Imagine being a “science journalist” (I know, it’s hard, but try a combination of alcohol and blunt force trauma to the head) who writes propaganda against the greatest exploration mission since Apollo. What ever happened to:

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.”

President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962

Well, it’s not like these people are new. Space exploration has always been plagued by naysayers who insist that every problem here on earth must be solved before we even think of leaving.

They would have us give every cent to lifting up the bottom, rather than finding, training, and equipping our best and brightest. This journalist (just imagine me spitting every time I utter that word) says that “Musk is no explorer; he is a flag planter.” What, exactly, does she think that explorers do? Apparently, they sit comfortably at home, “connect[ing] to the wonder of being human, and marvel[ing] at the luck of having grown up and evolved on such a beautiful, rare planet.” That’s not exploration, that’s navel-gazing.

With or without the help of our feckless leaders, men are still being born with the right stuff. Despite being propagandized, demoralized, and regulated every step of the way, little boys are still growing up to build space ships and explore other worlds. Elon Musk isn’t alone, he just has (imo) the best operation in the business and the proper, high tolerance for risk necessary to launching any exploration venture. We’re not all going to make it. Don’t worry, though, those of us who do will send plenty of postcards for those who prefer to sit at home and look at pretty space photos.

And he’s flying
Higher, the king of the sky
He’s flying too fast, and he’s flying too high
Higher, an eye for an eye
The legend will never die

– Sabaton, The Red Barron

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