I Thought I’d be Living in Space by Now

About a week ago my family was gathered in the kitchen — all of us — a rare thing these days what with the kids growing up and all. We were talking about the coming new year and suddenly it dawned on me that when I was their age I thought that by now I’d be living in outer space. I explained that I thought I’d be shuttling back and forth between the Earth, Moon, and Mars, repairing computer systems, visiting friends and family, and generally cavorting in zero G. At first they all looked at me like I had suddenly sprouted another head. That was before they burst out into raucous laughter. I was puzzled by their reaction. They thought it was the most ridiculous thing they had ever heard. I didn’t probe as to where they thought they’d be in 10 or 20 years but I think their dreams are much more down to earth.
That makes me sad. Then again when I was a kid human space exploration was a big deal. The Apollo program, Skylab, Voyager, Viking were all big milestones for mankind. Today space exploration so mundane it hardly gets a mention on the news. It’s all but disappeared from the public consciousness, so much so that kids don’t dream of being astronauts.
So today when we sit down to our New Year’s dinner I plan on asking the kids what they think their future holds. I’m curious what they will say. They are my time machine. They are going to see how this life, this movie, is going to turn out — at least the one I’m living in. I wonder how they think it’s going to end.

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I Thought I’d be Living in Space by Now

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