The High Desert City That’s Lost in Space

Earth to Palmdale: It’s Time to Focus on Your Community, Not the Cosmos

Hello, Palmdale. It’s planet Earth calling. Are you ever coming back here?

You, a sprawling and struggling working-class exurb of 160,000, may be located in the Antelope Valley, at the north end of Los Angeles County. But your civic head lives in outer space, where you endlessly formulate far-fetched schemes to make yourself a portal to the future.

I don’t know whether it’s your hot desert air, your elevation (2,657 feet above sea level), or all the psychedelically orange poppies that bloom in springtime. But you are always madly charging toward some …