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the skunks of los feliz
Truly exciting news for space geeks: the scaffolding surrounding the Griffith Observatory's new copper dome has come down. It took me a few days after the fact to register it, I'd grown so used to seeing the dome obscured by a tangle of iron and wood.
We're now a year and half out from the reopening of the Observatory and it's exhibition galleries, and I'm looking forward to checking out all the new, hopped up, high tech exhibits and movies. Part of me will miss the truly cheesy old exhibits, which, while dated (Skylab model!) took me back to the days of my first fascination with space and space travel. I'd check out the same space books over and over from the small library in my hometown, poring over the photos of Gemini and Apollo spacecraft, and better yet, conceptual illustrations of tremendous orbiting cities and thriving Mars outposts.
We're not there yet, obviously. The ISS has proven to be an expensive boon-doggle that has only served to drain precious resources away from programs such as the Hubble Telescope and upkeep on the aging Shuttle Fleet. But we've also done incredible things, like the Hubble, like our Mars rover program, like our probes to the gas giants in the outer solar system.
I'm sure the new exhibits will reflect this. I just hope they find room for some of their older exhibits, to show us the dreams of the future that our parents saw approaching, just over the horizon of the 21st century. Those dreams may not be here yet, may never arrive, but remind us of our deep-seated drive to explore and see. I've pretty much given up my childhood hope that I would one day walk on the moon, but that dream could still come true for the children that will swarm the Observatory when it reopens. I hope it does.
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