Space: to boldly go for no good reason

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WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward

Years ago, when my mum heard on the radio that a trip to visit Pluto was planned, her rapid to-the-point response was one of:‘Why don’t they leave that poor dog alone?’

Meanwhile, back in the real world, we are still looking for cures for thousands of medical conditions that lack funding

Had the news been about a trip to visit Daffy Duck, it may well have been more to her liking, but there you go, as the man may have said as he pressed the ignition sequence button in the control centre.

Fast-forward to 2015, and the latest news to come out of the universe is that something has taken more than nine years to get to the little planet on the outer edge of our solar system.

Perhaps this revelation means nothing to certain train travellers on their regular commute, but what gets me is the sheer cost of this mind-numbing news – and for what?

Pluto is so far away that no fast food outlet has – so far – shown any interest in having a branch there, so you know it’s a no-no for starters.

Plus life as we know it is supposedly unsustainable due to the lack of atmosphere there, although I have been in various public houses over the years that might qualify for that as well.

We will, no doubt, be told – in assorted nuggets of information over the next few months and years – that we now know how the planet was formed, what the local bumps or hills mean to somebody we have bred over the years at assorted universities and, if all else fails, with the candid views of the man in the local pub, who will bore us to eternity with his or her assessment of the situation as they see it.

Reports of there being no water there has prompted one utility company to dispatch a crew of eight to pack the van and go there, then dig a hole and sit round it, while a man with a clipboard plus a hi vis coat, plastic safety hat and goggles will follow on afterwards, mumbling assorted words while waving a finger in a controlled and well thought out direction.

What I find indecent about all these ‘space research missions’ is the fact they use up valuable resources in the process and what of the rocket or propulsion units that they use to get the craft up there and its effect on the almighty ozone layer?

Meanwhile, back in the real world, we are still looking for cures for thousands of medical conditions that lack funding and have spawned assorted charities to help in their research.

It seems anything that goes in an upward direction with flames bursting from its rear end and stamped in the name of research is okay as money is available for that.

Only a few thousand miles away, there in not even clean running water and that is on this planet.

Perhaps mum was right after all as ... they should have left Pluto alone.

Previously...

The weekly shop – a perilous task