Chair Force Engineer

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Rocket's Red Glare

Never has there been an Independence Day with so many fireworks, and so many repercussions.

It really made my day to watch Discovery lift off on live TV. Manned spaceflight, when it works successfully, makes us a more hopeful nation. It was the perfect way to celebrate our nation's 230th year with the 115th Space Shuttle mission.

Shortly after the launch, Fox News interviewed Alex Roland, the Duke University historian who frequently bashes manned spaceflight in favor of robotic science missions. Fox then got Buzz Aldrin on the phone (Buzz couldn't appear in person because he was busy pimping at the Playboy Mansion.) Buzz made the point that nobody gets too excited about robots, but manned spaceflight inspires people to study math and science and engineering. God, I love Buzz.

However, Buzz was cut off by the news of Kim Jong Il's most recent tirade, a cavalcade of six missile test firings. He certainly wiped the shuttle launch off the front page of tomorrow's newspapers; after all, there's no news like bad news.

Yet Kim Jong Il's missiles weren't as bad as they could have been. Published reports state that at least four of the missiles were SCUDs, and one may have been a No Dong or No Dong-B. The missile that had held the world's attention, the Taepo Dong-2 ICBM, blew up like the piece of shit that it is.

It's been a very noteworthy day, in spite of the "barbecue mentality" that most Americans tried to put themselves in. Pray for Discovery's crew to complete a safe and productive mission, and pray that our leaders will come up with the best approach for dealing with North Korea.