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No Country for Old Men September 3, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in gummint, history, space.

Just outside Marfa, Texas (if you saw the movie referenced in the title, you know how barren it is) you can find Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin test range. A recent launch was a failure. The various news reports make it out to be the end of the program, how terrible it is to fail so miserably and some even hinted that “there are things man was not meant to do(know).”

How sad. The MSM reports these things as if failure should never happen, and this, I suspect, reflects a more general feeling in the US. No one should fail, nothing should go wrong, and if it does the gummint ought to help where stupid individuals stumbled. I certainly hoped the Blue origin test would be a resounding success. But it wasn’t and I hope they learned a great deal from it to improve the next. And the next and the next. Failures happen. It’s how you respond that matters. Give up as the MSM seems to want? Or keep going until you are successful?

“Victory is not an option” has become the slogan for America. I’m glad Bezos and the other space pioneers are pressing on. I forget the exact details of the myth about Thomas Edison and the light bulb (now an evil destroyer of our environment and from which the gummint must protect us) but he supposedly tried thousands of combinations for the filament in the bulb before finding tungsten wire. Or was it cotton thread? He kept going and produced the Mazda.

NASA can give up under gummint “victory is not an option” but private individuals and companies must not. When the Russians seriously talk about letting the ISS deorbit and we find ourselves in the position of being unable to supply it or, maybe, even to get the astronauts aboard back to earth, it’s time to get the gummint out of the space business. The danger of this is passing laws preventing anyone from doing what they couldn’t.

The theme of the movie “No Country for Old Men” was acceptance of getting out of the way when things turn…different. Don’t pretend they haven’t changed. Learn to deal with new reality, no matter how distasteful or scary it might be. Adapt or get out of the way.

We’re at this crossroads now with space. The only hope for manned space exploration lies in private hands–and the Chinese.


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