Critics of manned spaceflight say the Columbia disaster means we must retreat from space. But what they’re abandoning is the future.
Spaced out Salon.com
We’ve got company Salon.com
We earthlings have long fantasized, feared and hoped that we’re not alone in the universe. Yet somehow, our dreams of alien life only seem to feature the UFO-flying variety of creature. In “Life Everywhere: The Maverick Science of Astrobiology,” astronomer David Darling contends that “life” encompasses more than E.T. and the green-skinned go-go girls of “Star Trek.” Bacterial life-forms from other planets have the potential to profoundly affect our understanding of the cosmos, as well as ourselves. Darling expertly explores the accomplishments and goals of this young, controversial science and looks with great optimism to the possibility of discovering life on Mars, on the moons of Jupiter and even on planets outside our solar system.
Odyssey takes off for Mars Salon.com
The Mars Odyssey spacecraft rocketed away Saturday on a 286 million-mile journey to the Red Planet and what NASA hopes will be a mission of redemption. It is the space agency’s first launch to Mars since a pair of humiliating failures in 1999.