Using Space-age Technology
We just spent a few weeks traveling across the country, driving in a computer-equipped car, using a GPS for directions. The GPS gave the whole thing a Jetsons sort of feel in the sense that whenever we needed to make a crucial turn somewhere, a friendly voice would chime in and tell us “In 0.2 miles, turn right…” or something like that. That’s one of those handy things, like a map, that you don’t leave home without anymore, especially if you have one of the newer cell phones or gadget-laden cars that seem to proliferate.
More than once as we drove the interstates and back roads to such interesting places as Roslyn, Washington, I thought to myself, “All this help, thanks to the space program!” I should also thank military planners and designers for the GPS system in the first place, too.
I got to thinking about a future vacation, maybe a hunded or two years from now, when we have regular interplanetary travel. We’ll take off in our nuclear-powered spacecraft, fully equipped with a galactic position system unit, aiming for a multi-year round trip to the outer solar system. As we get closer to important turning points, a friendly voice will come on and say things like, “In 1 million kilometers, prepare to execute a legal gravitational assist at Jupiter…”