Demonstrating once again that Americans like a challenging and dangerous mission. "The troubled International Space Station" gets far more attention than the same thing without the "troubled" keyword.
So how about we start taking on a few more serious challenges again? Robots are great, but they just don't excite anyone but us science geeks.
It isn't the challenge, it's the word "space". You stick "space" in front of anything and it sounds cool. A repair man is boring, a space repair man is heroic.
Fixing a truck on a lonesome road in a desert or snowstorm is challenging and dangerous. It doesn't get Boing Boing headlines.
For us, yes, "space" is a keyword.
For the general public? "Space" is really no different to them than that lonesome road. NASA worked hard to make spaceflight seem routine, and succeeded entirely too well.
ABC evening news had some spacewalk coverage on their broadcast tonight, and I use "coverage" and "evening news" in the loosest sense possible. ABC hinted at age problems with the NASA spacesuits and seemed to base it on one comment from an astronaut about his feet being cold. Granted, they went so far as to mention the previous incident with the water coolant leaking in the Italian astronaut's helmet, but all we got other than that was...really nothing. Good god the evening news is nearly on par with local coverage. We've gone from Walter Cronkite-level clarity and depth to Desperate Housewives-level brainless shreiking.
Also, if any old timers want to pop in just to tell me how bad Cronkite was and that he abused nuns with bacon fat and jellybeans, don't bother unless you've got good photographic evidence. Actually, I think that one evening news broadcast finally broke 2013 for me. It was already fucked up to an inhuman level, but come on 2014, get here already and give that masochist 2013 the boot.
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