“As soon as somebody demonstrates the art of flying, settlers from our species of man will not be lacking [on the moon and Jupiter]… Given ships or sails adapted to the breezes of heaven, there will be those who will not shrink from even that vast expanse.”
Johannes Kepler, letter to Galileo, 1610
I posted the above quote once before, but it bears repeating.
I almost titled this “The Miracle of Flight”, but some would (rightly) argue that flight is not a miracle at all, but a technological feat. I still find it miraculous, personally, but I don’t feel like quibbling over a choice of wording. No matter where you stand on the funding of our national space program, I dare you to look at these images and not feel slightly moved. That is our spaceship, America. That is our Endeavour. And after it, only one more of our ships will leave Earth and hang
miraculously in orbit. (For the time being. Until further notice. Commercial space endeavors: please hurry.)
If you think our space program is a waste of time, chew on this: after July of this year, we will no longer have the capability to put people into orbit. China, on the other hand, will. Does that make you warm and fuzzy? I hope not.