The history of space exploration is studded with examples of ‘what could have been’. So many missions of discovery shut down, underfunded, and left to rot as infeasible.

The Soviet Union and the United States made an art form of one-upmanship-The Soviets had the first man in space, the US the better interplanetary probes; the Soviets the first spacewalk, the US with the ultimate win: landing men on the lunar surface and bringing them back safely.

It wasn’t until the Apollo-Soyuz mission of 1975 that the two superpowers actually joined forces in exploration. However, on the drawing board were plans to combine America’s giant Skylab space station with Russia’s Salyut station…in effect building an international space station well before the “International Space Station.”

The first international space station.

I think it’s fascinating to imagine a time back when America had an archenemy, one with a face and a name…yet one with whom they shared so much. The same zeal for discovery, science, and a genuine-if misguided belief, that they were the sole bright light of reason on the planet.

Of course I don’t miss the fear and paranoia of ever present nuclear destruction, nor the exploitation of their people for the gain of war mongers and profiteers.

In the 21st century the bastards don’t even try to hide the fact they’re out to get every penny. They collude to destroy our educational systems, they engineer wars that will never end in order to practically enslave the great unlearned masses, and they shove pseudoscience down their throats to cheat them of even an ounce of critical thinking.

Once there was a great frontier-unlimited lightyears to be explored and conquered. The dreams were great the deeds greater.

What do we have now? Phones that allow us to communicate everywhere and “reality” television to mock us with it’s pure insipid banality.

I REFUSE to allow this to become the end game. I refuse to believe that this is all there is.

I will fight damn hard to create a better world. A world that the visionaries showed us. A world that John Kennedy could have led us to.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.”