I’m a space geek. Always have been, always will. I think money put into space exploration is generally both well spent and extremely cool. I regret that I will probably not live long enough to witness the first human colony on another planet. I think life on other planets is a mathematical near-certainty. If I had $20 million, I’d spend it all for a Soyuz trip to the International Space Station.
So it’s not particularly political — unless you want to get into NASA funding decisions as all available resources get sucked into Bush’s “manned mission to Mars” initiative — but the shuttle Discovery is scheduled to blast into space tomorrow, weather permitting.
The weather delay nonetheless served as a reminder of the bleak forecasts for launch day. NASA predicted a 60 percent chance that weather conditions will ground the shuttle Saturday. The prospects aren’t any better Sunday or Monday, as clouds from area thunderstorms are expected to continue threatening rain and lightning.
That still doesn’t settle whether Pluto is actually a planet — and if it is, whether that means we have more than nine planets after all, because there are several nonplanetary objects in the solar system that are as large or possibly larger than Pluto.
I hope tomorrow’s launch goes well and that the astronauts return safely.