It looks like we'll soon be seeing launches from Cape Canaveral once again, as Boeing and Space-X plan on delivering astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017.
For someone who grew up during the height of the Space Age -- many of us recall or even had models of the lunar lander, complete with gold-colored foil and maybe the enormous multi-stage Saturn V -- the current station itself is a stark disappointment, especially given the cinematic promise of 2001: A Space Odyssey. If Kubrick's station had been accompanied by a Strauss waltz as it spun there, slowly in orbit, the current spartan one would be accompanied by a kazoo and ukulele band.
It may be difficult to understand for some younger people; but watching our astronauts -- once, our childhood heroes, who actually did something significant to achieve their renown -- go hat in hand, for seventy-one million dollars a head, to the Russians -- the Russians! -- only to be launched from what appears to be 1960s technology, from Whathe******istan, it was and is truly cringe-worthy . . .