Kind of linked to the last theme, the whole space race thing was indirectly tied in with the effort of motivating and inspiring the pride of a nation all be it in a kind of indirect way. So much so that for decades the US government under numerous administrations thought it best to put aside and pour billions into its space program despite many terrestrial bound critics that were generally much more concerned about funding requirements on earth for the implementation of social policy. But for all those that aren't too clued up on current US budget cutbacks under the current Obama administration, all shuttle launches from here on out have apparently now been officially canned to maybe leave a few starry eyed space fans a little disappointed. Not to mention how wasteful a vertical shuttle launch actually is given the amounts of specialist fuel required to vertically propel the giant use once and throw away thrusters that ultimately just gets dumped in outer space amidst all the other space junk currently orbiting earth right now.
However something tells me that its likely far from the end of launches bound for space given the way that the likes of Sir Richard Branson investing to have successfully helped to create vehicles designed to take off much in the way regular airplanes do as well as land again in the same way too but obviously the difference being that these particular vehicles are capable of near earth orbit space flight. None government funded investment creating craft capable of near earth obit space flight at a mere fraction of the fuel consumption and cost whilst also being 100% reusable as far as the original vehicle is concerned again; much in the way that airplanes are. To cut to the chase, despite the fact that these vehicles were primarily design for commercial consumer use albeit at a significantly higher premium then regular air fares, there seems to be the obvious potential for adaptation for achieving none commercial earth orbit NASA research space program objectives more cost effectively.
My personal stance? Well I've always been a fan of the space program given the slightly greater insight its given us into our universe despite the fact that it might only be less than a mere tiny glimpse, plus the fact that I've always been a fan of science in general. So I could only seek comfort in Branson's successful exploits into making space flight more cost effective and eventually potentially more accessible to the everyday person although obviously not in the initial stages.
But there's also something at the back of my mind that tells me that there is much that we certainly could not have discovered for ourselves given the current limitations of our technological ability even today. Even the Hubble telescope in space unhindered by atmospheric distortion is barely capable of seeing to the edge of our own galaxy which makes me wonder how we could have such seeming definite knowledge of the deeper universe itself. At the time when such detailed assertions of other galaxies first existed our own technological capabilities via the most powerful telescopes at the time could barely allow us to actually make out what a galaxy cluster was let alone know that they existed at all. Our own galaxy would have seemed like the universe to us.
It's almost as if we had knowledge of the wider universe before we'd have ever been able to figure it out or discover it for ourselves. In realistic terms even today regardless of how far the Hubble has actually traveled into space, it still couldn't have even brought us close to being able to make the broader assertions about the wider universe beyond our own galaxy that we now take for granted.
Area 51 is just fiction
As we all know area 51 is just for the paranoid conspiracy theorists. Or is it? Then again whether it does or doesn't is of no real consequence to my mind given how big the world is with vastly bigger and greater abundance of secrets along the lines of the Area 51 kind. But the way I see things knowledge of the wider universe is like the impossibility of achieving anywhere near the maximum potential system ratings for Vista when it was released. Even if you had just dropped a wedge of dough on a water pumping, dual core number crunching (with dual cores being sort of new on the consumer arena at the time) with the fastest pair of pixel pushing new to market SLi standard GPU's you'd be lucky to even score a 3.5 on the ratings chart out of a maximum potential of 10. You knew its possible otherwise there wouldn't be the ratings to actually achieve in the first place, although evidently it was nowhere near possible to achieve it on consumer market available hardware. They obviously also wouldn't have created an OS without an actual machine that it was actually able to optimally run on and achieve the maximum rating (if not get very close). But even whilst using that analogy there's obviously the difference of the fact we didn't create the wider universe or knowledge of it just as I'm certain whatever brought it to us might have also had other mind boggling insights into the origins of numerous civilizations on earth that have risen and fallen possibly even the true reasons for it as well as the origins of their various belief structures better then human so called records that are generally shrouded in mysticism (along with all general far fetched antics to go with it) could ever inform us of.
Just as a by the by thing, the maximum potential system rating for windows 7 had actually been lowered 7.9.