The idea for the project came from my deep disappointment in the direction the US space program has taken. From the glory days of the sixties, climaxing in the lunar landings, to the present day when we depend on he Russians to shuttle our astronauts, the US, mainly because of a series of shortsighted and technically ignorant executives and an almost proudly no-nothing Congress, has dropped the ball on space exploration.
The usual explanation “there are more important things to do on Earth” is as ludicrous as it is hypocritical. A trillion dollar war in Iraq is more important? A housing bubble created by the same greedy and ignorant legislative and executive branches is more important? The creation of decades of wasteful subsidies, irrational tax policies, an energy policy based on bribery and corruption, and wing nut Republican obstructionism is more important?
The fact is America has lost its sense of adventure. The exploration of space is one of the next great challenge that faces humanity. and we’ve turned our backs on it.
The Chinese, however our political systems and outlook on individual freedoms differ, are at least moving ahead with space exploration. There will be challenges to overcome and, perhaps, cost in human lives, but at least the Chinese are in the game.
In the 19th century Americans settled and entire continent. It was costly, dangerous and difficult, but would anyone argue that the result was worth it? I wish that sense of adventure, optimism, and foresight was still with us.