I am in love with Star Trek. Ever since discovering it in its original run back in the '60's (in my youth), I have always look to it for a vision of the future that I wanted to come to pass - one of space travel and understanding, with an occasional inter-stellar war thrown in to keep it interesting. In my darkest moments, Star Trek was my light. At my highest points, Star Trek was my wings. When all hope was gone, Star Trek was straight on till morning.
But all things that have a beginning, have an end, and tonight the end comes for Star Trek. In my opinion, the end has been coming since the last episode of Deep Space Nine when Captain Sisko ascended to sit with the Prophets of the Bajorin worm hole. That story arc was one of the best in science fiction ever, and it proved impossible to top in the Star Trek lineage. Voyager barely limped home, while Enterprise, a good idea at the start, has been running on empty for most of its almost 4 years on television.
While my Trek universe was imploding, however, another was just being born. The SciFi channel brought Stargate SG-1 back from the brink, and then used it to learn what to give the science fiction audience. It had its own great cult hit, Farscape, which it ended before the series ran out of story lines, keeping its audience hungry for more. It has done mini-series and mini-movies and kept learning and tonight, with what the network bills as the biggest night of scifi ever, it puts Star Trek out of its misery.
I will be on the SciFi channel tonight for Stargate Atlantis, now entering its second season as a majorly smart extension of the Stargate universe. I will stay on board for Battlestar Galactica, perhaps the best thing on since the original Trek; a great re-working of the '70's original that has kept every viewer on the edge of their seats, even though we already know how its going to turn out. Star Trek's Enterprise, which will be opposite these shows on Fridays, will be lucky to move the rating needle a point or two, and that is how it should be. Tonight, on the biggest night of scifi ever, Star Trek makes way for its children and another generation of science fiction fans will be born.
"SpaceShipOne has rocketed into the history books to become the first private manned spacecraft to fly to the edge of space and back."
In spite being drowned out by yet another bloody day in the on-going "war on terror", the significance of this event should not be over looked.
This is huge.
And while we are still fighting over the rules governing cyberspace, imagine where we are headed when companies start launching their own expeditions to the Moon and Mars in a couple of years, claiming land not for a nation but for their shareholders! This event, more than anything else, may get NASA truly back in the game or force them permanently to the sidelines.
"If successful, the journey of the manned capsule would mark a great step for China in its goal to become a major space explorer for both military and civilian purposes. The space program also underscores China's desire to become recognized as an emerging great power. Chinese scientists have vowed recently that the country would send a rocket to the moon, establish a space station, ring the globe with high-precision satellites and explore the possibility of extracting the moon's mineral wealth, particularly helium-3, a potential energy source."