The space shuttle just flew overhead, on its way to being mothballed. I stopped work for a minute and went outside to watch. Cool to see it, but in an age of incredibly rapid technological progress, how striking to see something that looks like the future of 40 years ago. A dingy, bulky, tile-covered would-be plane that can’t fly on its own? That costs an arm and leg both to build and maintain, and can’t take off in the rain? Isn’t technology getting cheaper, smaller, and more reliable? Isn’t it also more accessible to all? Why are we still looking up at the shuttle, rather than buying tickets on one, the same way we might buy a new iPhone?