Thursday, January 27, 2011

Death of the American Space Program, but not my imagination.

Listening to NPR this morning, I was so disappointed to hear of the retirement of the US Space Shuttle Discovery. I became slightly angry at the idea that we were "giving up" on space. Though we are learning new information about our universe every day, our space program is just not what it used to be. According to NASA's schedule there are frequent launches (every few months) to the space station to restock and send new technologies, but what about our big giant plans to reach the end of our solar system? The Discovery was responsible for launching the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990, WHAMMY! Eleven years ago! The year Nelson Mandela was released from prison in South Africa, the year of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the year the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of diseases, the year the Gulf War began in Kuwait, I was 13 years old. It seem like forever ago doesn't it? It's because it was.

We understand that there is risk involved with space travel, but what NASA doesn't is that we care less about materials they design for NIKE shoes and more about our origination and how we got here. I believe some of those answers might be in space. There most likely is other life in space; in other forms, based on unknown elements. As a child, I would gawk at my father's newspaper article from July 21st, 1969, the front page adorning a picture of a man standing on the moon, which is sitting in a plastic sleeve somewhere buried in the eternal pits of the garage. I hope we haven't lost the wonder, excitement, and awe of space. Even now I have stars in my eyes, and remember a time where I would sleep outside in the country with no light pollution and gaze at the millions of stars above me, my heart would stop every time I saw a 'shooting star.'

I will continue to watch programs on the science channels, and go about my merry ways, but I will never forget to LOOK UP. That's all it takes to spark the imagination, when it's dark, no matter where you, just look up, even for just a few moments. I wish there was more I could do to encourage advances in science, but all i can do is encourage you to encourage others, and hope that we start a trend, hope that we become more aware of our surroundings, and hope that someday the excitement for space travel returns to our society as it was in the earlier years.

When designing new creatures, I keep in mind that things elsewhere might be very different from those familiar to us, they most likely are not in the form of the humanoid figure in the drawing below. I do like to play with known textures and explore them further and how they might relate to other kinds of figures (a good example in my first blog post). This is a drawing done in a short period of time in Prismacolor pencil with no under-drawing. I was experimenting with texture and studying the skin and dynamic camouflage capabilities of the octopus while allowing myself to play freely with color.

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