You know it is interesting sometimes how things work out. Earlier today I was thinking about how science fiction, is simply not at the forefront of people’s consciousness these days. I am specifically referring to science fiction that focuses on space, and how there appears, to me, a lack of interest in it, and a lack of new stories that capture people’s, particularly children’s interests. I made an elementary conclusion that the reason for this is because there really isn’t any true and real inspirational stories being made right now. What I mean by that is back when there was a vast interest in space, and space related science fiction, was during the “Space Race,” between the USA, and USSR, which culminated with NASA’s manned missions to the moon. That era inspired many TV shows and movies, and I decided that the original Star Trek TV show (1966) is at the inspirational root of almost all modern outer space Sci-Fi; even my beloved, original, Star Wars (1977). Of course my observation is debatable and not definitive. If your really stop to think about it though, once the moon missions ceased, and their glory lost to memory, so too did any mass interest in almost any new space Sci-Fi film, or TV show. Sure, the Star Wars, and Star Trek franchises live on, but few, if any shows or movies have been able re-inspire people, and again, particularly children, in going “where no one has gone before,” be it for real, or in a book, TV show, or movie.
So, that’s what I was thinking about earlier today, and then I come across this article about German scientists who are working on using pulsar stars as a means to aid in navigating among the stars, using principles similar to Earthly GPS. Sadly, even though this article is 9 months old, the audio/video was not able to be embedded here; I guess the BBC doesn’t believe in sharing. Anyway, the gist is this, pulsars emit X-rays at precise intervals, so by a similar triangulation process as used by global positioning satellites, a space craft can use pulsars to locate itself among the stars to within 5 kilometers – when you think about how big space is, 5 km is pretty damn precise!
Of course I don’t expect this nine month old story to reignite a child’s imagination of soaring among the stars, nor do I think this nine month old article will inspire a rash of space related books, movies, or TV shows. What we need is an actual inspirational human space mission to somewhere, even it is “simply” back to the moon, to recapture the consciousness, and imagination of another generation, or two; and maybe even new space oriented Sci-Fi movies, TV, and books.
Now, let’s watch some space vid’s:
Here’s what one Pulsar actually sounds like (almost like a drum machine):
How about the rocket that inspired an entire planet about the possibility of manned interstellar travel:
Finally the inspirational opening to the 1968 Stanley Kubrick film, “2001: A Space Odyssey:”
We missed that date, 2001, by 12 years, and its sequel, 2010, by 3 years; but who’s counting…