10 February 2003
Most people who know me also know my pet-peeve about the incessant reuse of a certain photograph of Earth. Naturally I've been keeping an eye on the Triana mission which promises to solve this problem once and for all.
Triana was Al Gore's pet project. The spacecraft was designed, built and tested when the Democrats were in power. Then George Bush won the election. Out of spite, Triana was ordered removed from the launch schedule and was put into storage. The shuttle flight that Triana was supposed to be launched on was STS-107; the one that ended last weekend over Texas.
Had Triana been on board it would be safely on its way to L1[?] by now. By April it would have started beaming back live photos of Earth every 15 minutes for the next five years. Triana would have been a living memorial to the crew of Columbia. That little $80m mission could have had an impact far beyond what was originally envisioned. But due to politics, it is quietly rusting in a storage container.
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