This isn’t heartwarming.

Much as I hate to disagree with Ace, it is heartbreaking.

Thirty years ago, the first space shuttle launched into the stratosphere. Chris Bray and his father Kenneth watched — and took a picture. Then last Friday, the shuttle Atlantis took its final trip. Again, the Bray men were there. And again, the two snapped a photo to capture the moment.

Mostly because it reminds me of a rather galling line often attributed to Jerry Pournelle: “I always knew I’d live to see the first man walk on the Moon. I never dreamed I’d see the last.” Not quite the same lyrics, but damned if the tune isn’t the same.

But, hey: the Russians can still give us rides to orbit, right?

Moe Lane

PS: Those Democratic party SOBs in Washington won’t trust us to pick out our own light bulbs: what makes you think that they’ll let us have our own private manned space program?  The only real question is which government agency they’ll use to stamp it out: Labor’s the obvious choice, but don’t forget either the EPA or BATFE, now that it’s got ‘Explosives’ attached at the end.  Bureaucrats love turf expansion, don’t you know.


  • Aaron Gardner says:

    Wouldn’t the logical choice be the TSA? :ducks:

  • Rob Crawford says:

    Hush — the TSA is too busy expanding into train stations and bus stops.

  • I once heart Art Dula talk about how he got the permissions for SSI’s Conestoga launch. Went to DC and hollered “Here I am! Regulate me!” and then filled out all paperwork demanded in the feeding frenzy. In the course of that someone at ATF noticed the first stage had more than 6.5 oz. of black power . . . so Art got to have a weapons permit for a medium-range ballistic missile.

    Right now it’s under the control of the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation so the other agencies are shut out.

  • MikeCG says:

    Hate to say it, Moe, but our manned space program effectively died thirty years ago. Transitioning from the Saturn V to the Space Shuttle was the practical equivalent of abandoning galleons and going back to using oared triremes. Yes, it is tragic that America no longer possesses the means to put our own people into space, but at least we’re no longer carrying on the farce of having a progressive manned space program.

  • David Transou says:


    I’m sure what the Progressives will push is some cushy public-private partnership with a nice Progressive Corporation like GE.

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