WHY SPACESHIP IS OUR BEST HOPE
A SPECIAL REPORT BY OUR OUTSPOKEN COLUMNIST
Elsewhere in this publication boffins are derided and abused. There is
however, one area of boffinry which all of us must hail. I speak of the
space program. Since the early days of the space race while America was
putting monkeys in space suits and the Russians had already sent Nadia
Comaneci into orbit without breathing, man has looked to the stars and
wondered aloud, then retired defeated.
With the news that
Pioneer 10 has become the first man made thing to leave the solar system
it is time surely for each of us to pause and salute the greatness that
is the human race. While dolphins, chimps and pigs (yes pigs) are routinely
lauded for having good brains, it is time surely for mankind to stand
up and say "We rule".
Yes, we get things wrong, yes, we blow each other up, but when did a dolphin
or a pig ever countenance the awesome notion of say, the channel tunnel
? Yes, monkeys could learn to dig or even operate a fork lift, but could
any of these so-called "creatures" have raised the finance
for such an audacious project ? I think not.
Pioneer carries with it a plaque bearing an illustration of what we look
like and where we live. I for one welcome the discovery of us by an advanced
civilisation which will visit us and correct the moral uncertainty and
legal minefields in which we all suffer.