Cassandra has moved. Ugo Bardi publishes now on a new site called "The Seneca Effect."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The future is never what it used to be: the last flight of the Space Shuttle

If you have five minutes, you can look at the future as Stanley Kubrik saw it in 1968, in his movie "2001, A Space Odissey." The sequence of the space docking is especially beautiful and especially touching for us, today, with the last Space Shuttle mission programmed for tomorrow, June 8.

It is the end of an age - the age of manned spaceflight. The future is never what it used to be.


  1. Quim made a similar post some months ago: El fin de la exploración espacial. This is sad for us, scientists, but just a part of our predicament in the energy descent era.

  2. Prof, NASA officially announced 8 July 2011 as the launch date of the STS-135 mission.

  3. Well, the end of U.S. Government-owned manned spaceflight, at least. There are plenty of billionaires and multimillionaires who are dedicating their fortunes to trying to develop and colonize space, and I think it's still a dead heat as to whether they succeed before energy costs are so high that all spaceflight is priced out. If they can get enough resources in space, however, and start harnessing resources from space, they might just succeed.


    See also

  4. l' esplorazione spaziale e' una bufala che permette esperimenti sull' ombrello difensivo mericano e' chiaro che il pianeta non sopravviverebbe ad un esodo massiccio pero' l'ascensore per la fascia geostazionaria potrebbe servire per lanciare i rifiuti verso il sole
    - fantascenza? si, ma anche l'idea di Kubrik che la nostra intelligenza dipenda da un intervento esterno e' chiaramente consolativa probabilmente e' bene che l' uomo "sapiens" scompaia se non e' in grado di evolversi in "Homo in exelsis"
    lo so di essere matto
    non c'e' bisogno che lo pensiate -
    coldialmente Guido Grossi

  5. Yes, manned spaceflights never made much sense anyway, and that Lovelock in an interview is saying he is wishing to make a "virgin spaceflight", in order to see the earth "from the outside", clearly points to a very little intellectual mindset, as if a picture wasn't sufficient to see that ..



Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)