The Last Space-Shuttle Emission


The space shuttle is dead, but do not expect to see Brit Liggett among the mourners. That is, unless she is dancing on its grave. Liggett is:

A little relieved to know that the blast of emissions from each shuttle launch will no longer be spewing into the atmosphere adding to the effects of global warming.

She concedes, over at Inhabitat, that it was “endlessly amusing to watch people float in zero-gravity” — which was, of course the prime function of the $196 billion program — but that, on balance, such hijinks were not worth the “emissions.”

Worry not, though: Liggett isn’t against space exploration per se. Just space exploration now. She expresses her satisfaction over the fact that

NASA’s future mission is deep space flight and because of the massive amounts of thrust and probability of light-weight future vessels, fossil fuel will most likely be pushed aside for a lighter, more environmentally friendly propellant.

One can always talk like this. Liggett could have celebrated the end of the Apollo program because it was wasteful, and hailed the start of the Space Shuttle because it was reusable and, thus, more “sustainable.” The reality is, though, that the likes of Liggett are always going to be happy only 20 years in the future. And 20 years in the future never comes. 


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