Space missions that bring hope down to earth

We believe that the reason people turn to strange irrational conspiracy theories and extreme, emotional political beliefs is because of their despair. Readers of LSS will never succumb to despair, because we know that, as long as humans can think, there is still hope for solutions. Thinking is all about asking the right questions. And one of the most powerful questions is “what will happen when I do this?”

People who ask that question can achieve remarkable things. We at LSS love a good, quirky example of human intelligence. Two have come up today, both of which we link to agency reports via The Guardian**: but all the media have them this morning. Probably via the same PRs and agencies! The first is the cooperation between NASA and Nokia to put a 4G network on the moon before the astronauts have landed. Which means they can post images of themselves on Facebook, play games and presumably order take away meals. We hope there will be no sexting!

Meanwhile 200 million miles away, the no less marvellous spacecraft Osiris Rex has brushed the asteroid Bennu to scoop the biggest haul of rock since Apollo. It is is now hurrying back to Earth. Imagine if you brought back a highly intelligent person from the past-perhaps Jane Austen or Goethe-and told them that we could do that. Well, the ones of us who still think, anyway

And the other side? They gather in bellicose rallies full of flags and guns. But they always use technology created by someone else. And we have ask-if you can’t think of new technology, how can we trust you to think clearly about anything else?

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/oct/20/talking-on-the-moon-nasa-and-nokia-to-install-4g-on-lunar-surface

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/oct/21/nasa-osiris-rex-spacecraft-lands-on-asteroid-bennu-in-mission-to collect-dust

#NASA #osiris-rex #nokia #4g #moon #asteroid #bennu

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