Over at the Speculative Fiction Showcase, the group blog that I co-host with Cora Buhlert, we have a guest post today from A.E. Williams, author of the Fantasy Series Terminal Reset.

A.E. Williams writes under a pseudonym: in the real world, he was an engineer and test pilot for NASA. In his latest piece, he offers us his thoughts about the history of manned spaceflight, and what has happened to the experience built up over the years.

With asides on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, Disney, and Werner von Braun!

 

This is the year 2015.

Based on the initial excitement to which I was exposed as a young lad during the Sixties, I was expecting to see flying cars, jet packs, robot maids and round trips to our space stations, Lunar bases or even Martian cities on a daily basis.

The ideas tossed about haphazardly by Hollywood and the fledgling television industry sought to assure all of us that Science was entering its Golden Age, and what were mere figments living in the imaginations of the much-vaunted science fiction writers of years past were coming to fruition. We had lasers, and satellites, and telescopes that were probing the Universe. We had the atomic bomb, and also the nuclear submarine. How long until the nuclear bomber or nuclear oil tanker?

Manned space exploration was the gatekeeper of these wonders. Research into keeping humans alive in space caused simultaneous expansion in the fields of engineering, medicine, communications and rocketry. Von Braun and the team gave us the engines of our Future, the means to conquer the Solar System and then the Galaxy. 

It was Manifest Destiny writ large, with the entire Human Race the heirs to a great hegemony of…of…

Well, horse feathers. 

We didn’t manage to get even close to that dream, now did we?

Read the rest of his article over at the Speculative Fiction Showcase – link below!

Speculative Fiction Showcase: Guest post – A.E. Williams – MANNED Space Exploration? It’s Getting Old – PART I.

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