In part because of housing uncertainty — and mindful of George Monbiot’s excellent advice about true freedom arising from low living expenses “If you can live on five thousand pounds a year, you are six times as secure as someone who needs thirty thousand to get by” — I have been avoiding and minimizing taking on new physical possessions.
Nonetheless, with my interest in space and the Space Shuttle program specifically, I could not resist ordering Lego’s new Space Shuttle Discovery and Hubble Space Telescope set on the day of its release.
The Hubble is arguably the greatest scientific achievement of the Space Shuttle program and certainly one of the most powerful instruments humanity has ever created for understanding the vastness and history of our universe. The dimensions of the Hubble also did a lot to dictate the final size and configuration of the shuttle (less for the telescope itself, and more for the secret Earth-observing versions operated by the National Reconnaissance Office). Those design decisions, in turn, did much to shape the shuttle’s operational characteristics and history, including the design choices that contributed to the Challenger and Columbia losses.
The set will be fun to put together, and I should be able to find somewhere to display it even if I end up living in a tiny space.