The Disillusionment of Politics – Reality of Our Common Home: Earth

Earthrise: Suddenly, from behind the rim of the moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth... home. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14.
Earthrise

In the interest of keeping up with current events, I keep an eye on news stories and politics as I go throughout my day. I like to see what things are happening in the world as they normally end up effecting some aspect of my life. Most recently, the largest amounts of news media has been focused on the upcoming presidential election here in the United States. I get frustrated with politics a lot. Some of this is because we have become so partisan as a society, so extreme in our views that every discussion becomes a heated battle. There is constant bickering and what seems like endless and useless rhetoric from everyone, Republican, Democrat, Independent, Right, Left, Communist, Federalist, and the list goes on. Most of the time, it really seems like nothing ever gets done. I can understand people’s complaint and subsequent animosity towards political systems the world over.

One of the defining reasons I love the space program and admire the astronauts, cosmonauts, and many others, past and present, who have ventured out beyond these political spheres of influence is because they have come to see Planet Earth for what she truly is. Hopefully someday, we’ll all have that same opportunity. Even if we don’t though, we should be able to grasp that we’re all in this together and need to come together and work together to make the world a better place in all aspects. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell stated these same sentiments best, at least I think so:

“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’ ” – Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut

Legos in Space: A Modern Day October Sky

Lego Shuttle Flight
Lego Shuttle Flight - Soon after takeoff (http://bit.ly/zqzV4f)

Space, dubbed the final frontier most famously by the series Star Trek, has been the dream of many people throughout the years.  As of late, the number of people with this dream seems to have dwindled, but not for Oaida Raul from Romania who was bound and determined to realize his dream like Homer Hickam did in the book Rocket Boys later to be changed to match the movie October Sky . He diligently found an investor who mentored him about how to make his project work and even steered him into using a Lego Space Shuttle Model 3367.  Getting air space clearance, he launched the model along with a GoPro camera and other equipment and sent it soaring.  The song 99 Luftballoons  nearly immediately came to mind upon hearing that they used a 1600g helium filled weather balloon and launched from Germany. The music he picked for his YouTube video was great, but I think it would have been even more of a kicker with that song. Oh well.  Perhaps that can be a future project using a whole squadron! Take a look at the video below. It’s pretty awesome. You can also see the more detailed version of events from his Oaida’s own blog.