As I listened to the news on Voyager, it occurred to me that this was the end of an era in space transport. I can still remember when Voyager was first launched: it was heralded as the beginning of a new era of space exploration. But now, much like lunar landings, it has had its day and is due for some museum.
Likewise, Concorde. Once heralded as the beginning of new era of super sonic passenger aircraft, now both the machine and the hope have been shelved.
At the weekend, I heard a very sobering statistic. Apparently, if you calculate peak oil/person in the world, that peak was passed in the 1970s. Are all these connected? Obviously Concorde was a massive consumer of aviation fuel energy. Likewise the reusable shuttle saved a bit of manufacturing cost of the vehicle for a massive increase in cost of fuel to send that “green” (recyclable) but heavier vehicle into space.
Now there is talk in Scotland of “enforcing” speed restrictions, which no doubt (like cigarettes) will see a continuing campaign of harassment until the PC politicians demonstrate their inability to let anyone lead their own lives.
So, is this “peak speed”? Will the next generation see their average travel speeds steadily reducing until they are like the M80 (40mph restrictions with Nazi like enforcement everywhere)
All in all it seems that we are already on the downward slope regarding any civilising aspects of modern society which consume energy.