From the 1960s onwards, US has made revolutionary leaps in extending humanity’s reach outside of our home planet. Unfortunately, as the cold war with Russia waned, so too did big space projects.
Furthermore, as this was transpiring, US embarked on an unprecedented social experiment transforming itself from a mono-racial and mono-cultural nation to a multi-racial and multi-cultural country. There is no historical precedent for such a successful country having ever existed, so vast amounts of money had to be allocated into ever-expanding welfare programs and social engineering on every level of society. As a result, US has sunk into unpayable levels of debt, and is now barely capable of a regular suborbital flight, which it has to outsource to Russia, and other more cohesive, homogenous nations.
That doesn’t leave much hope for the future, but we have to keep maintaining that flame of exploration and wonder for the future generations. To that end, we give you some nifty gift ideas to keep that space enthusiasm live and kicking.
Mass Effect Trilogy
Nothing compares to the immersion and enjoyment a brilliant computer game can give you. Not books, sporting events, graphic novels, or movies. Video games allow you to partake directly with awe-inspiring virtual worlds, and in the case of Mass Effect trilogy, allow you to carve your own, personal take on the content offered.
Mass Effect rekindles the sense of wonder, exploration, and the drama of humanity’s exploration of space like no other medium. Not to mention the highly tactical and engaging combat system. It offers everything you would want from a science fiction material.
The visuals still hold up, and the soundtrack is eternally enjoyable.
Get yourself an EA (Electronic Arts) account on Origin and order this gift for yourself and others. Just make sure they own a PC; even a cheap one is now more than capable of running the outstanding Mass Effect trilogy.
However, if the other person doesn’t own a PC, get them the Mass Effect books. If that doesn’t entice them to get themselves a PC to actually experience the events depicted in the books, then nothing will.
LEGO Space Sets
If you want to ignite space enthusiasm in kids, but you don’t want them to stare at a screen all day long, then something more direct and physical is in order. And there is no such better gift than from LEGO.
This wildly successful Danish company has become a cultural icon, and a cornerstone for cherished childhood memories around the world. Their LEGO sets range from simple building blocks to actual working machinery and robots which can perform useful functions.
But to get you started, you can choose from a wide range of space-themed sets; from science fiction like Star Wars, to replications of real NASA projects.
The prices vary greatly as well, so you can go from a starter LEGO set, to up to something more advanced, like the NASA’s Curiosity Rover.
Savoring virtual worlds centered around space exploration is one thing, but how about engaging in reality itself? Although any significant space program seems to be slipping from our grasp with each passing year, and it will probably get worse before it gets better, there is no reason to not learn about space directly, with your own eyes.
The free market again comes to the rescue; competition has churned out some outstanding products which would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago, and only contained within the sphere of the richest of the rich.
For well under hundred dollars you can now gift a powerful, portable telescope that can be integrated with digital technology as well. The Celestron telescope is a fine example of this amazing combination of affordability and quality.
Of course, you can use a telescope for many other purposes besides projecting your mind into the vastness of sparkling stars on a clear night, so it’s a gift that will be appreciated for years to come.
Planet Plates and Mugs
There is always a need for an extra set of plates, in case you have more guests than anticipated, or if you happened to break one, which can become a regular occurrence if you have kids running around.
For a clever integration of usefulness, art and space enthusiasm, all within the affordable price range, a set of plates depicting the planets of our solar system is an excellent idea.
With Planet Plates Set, you get a skillful, watercolor rendition of all eight planets of our home solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Of course, we now know that Pluto is a planetoid, instead of a planet, so it is excluded from the set.
Nonetheless, just imagine the food combinations you could work with these genuine pieces of art.
Similarly, you can get these ingenious coffee/tea mugs which transform into depictions of star constellations depending on the heat of the liquid. With cold liquid, you “just” get a starry skyline, but when you pour in hot liquid the stars will interconnect into all the major star constellations: Cassiopea, Perseus, Saggitarius, Hercules, Andromeda, Scorpius, Taurus, Ursa Major (Big Dipper), Ursa Minor (Little Dipper), Orion, Gemini.
A fantastic way of learning astronomy while you are enjoying your hot beverage!
Solar System Light
Enrich your entire room with this space-themed, motorized ceiling light set. Naturally, the sun is the light, around which you can rotate the planets with a handy remote control that also serves as a light pointer. The solar system rotation shuts off automatically after 20 minutes, which is just enough for an audio tour you can download from the web. And you can have many such explanatory audio files running after you have learned everything you could from the previous ones.
Obviously, this is superbly educational for kids, in addition to making their rooms more colorful and dynamic, but there is no reason for adults to not enjoy as well. Its design style certainly doesn’t make it inappropriate to mount in other spaces too.