Oct 28th 2009 By Caleb Howe
Today at 11:30 a.m., NASA finally launched a multimillion-dollar unmanned prototype of the Ares I rocket
after being foiled Tuesday by such complex factors as both wind AND boats.
Ares is part of NASA's Constellation program
, which enthusiasts point out is step one in putting men on the moon.
Step one? We're pretty sure step one was covered when we put men on the moon
. Hey, maybe the government can send some wagons out West, see what that place is all about, too. Weren't we supposed to be getting murdered by evil computers and cloning Scarlett Johansson by 2010?
Science has promised us a future that, frankly, hasn't materialized. Walk with us on this journey through some of glittering, diamond-studded dreams shattered. What We Were Promised: Jetpacks What We Got: The Segway
The fact that we don't have jetpacks yet is such a glaring fail that mentioning it has become an Internet trope. "Where's my jetpack?" is as common a refrain as "Why yes, that IS my real picture."
Hey, the future -- 50 years ago called, they want their walking back.
What We Were Promised: Flying Cars That Fold Into Briefcases What We Got: The Slap Chop
The Jetsons had everything, and all of it could fit in your pocket. Sure, cell phones and laptops have gotten smaller, but have you ever tried to hide a car from the cops? Not as easy. And let's not talk about trying to fly them. The main problem, of course, is the total collapse of DeLorean-based research. What We Were Promised: Housing on the Moon What We Got: Housing in the Toilet
From "2010: A Space Odyssey" to "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," America has been led to believe easy travel between here and the moon was right around the millennial corner. But the best we get is that MTV promo and 47 Tom Hanks movies. It's time for moon units, Zappa. And you better hope there's a Starbucks. What We Were Promised: iRobot
What We Got: iRobot™
If Hollywood has taught us anything, it's that we should be pretty much be swimming in robots
by now. Ever since Asimov, the promise of enslaving the robot race has tantalized but not materialized. We were promised helpful androids
that periodically go on murderous rampages
. I don't know about you, but my Roomba barely scares me at all. What We Were Promised: Mars What We Got: Veronica Mars
How many movies predicted Mars as a conquered territory
by now? The Constellation program theoretically has Mars in its sights, but so far the closest we've come is marooning a defenseless robot there to take pictures until it died. No wonder they'll go on so many killing sprees some day.
What scientific wonders did you hope would be invented by now?