A Little Spin

So. NASA is now going to build gas stations in space.

That’s not what the NASAoids are calling them—”propellant depots” is the preferred euphemism—but that’s what they are.

Says the New York Times:

By considering a proposal to put filling stations in the sky, NASA is looking to accelerate plans to send astronauts to distant destinations.

The filling stations—NASA calls them propellant depots—would refuel a spacecraft in orbit before it headed out to the moon, an asteroid or eventually Mars. Currently, all of the fuel needed for a mission is carried up with the rocket, and the weight of the fuel limits the size of the spacecraft.

Next month, engineers will meet at NASA headquarters in Washington to discuss how propellant depots could be used to reach farther into space and make possible more ambitious missions using the heavy-lift rocket that NASA is planning to build.

However, the space agency has rejected the study’s most radical conclusion: that NASA could forgo the heavy-lift and use existing smaller rockets, combined with fuel depots, to reach its targets more quickly and less expensively. Those targets, for the next two decades at least, include a return to the moon or a visit to an asteroid.

Oh hell no. Let’s not consider the cheaper and quicker alternative. Because what’s really important is the ability to drive big ol’ RVs around in space.

It is touching, really, that humans think they are going to be able to rumble through the universe in RVs. It’s not going to happen, of course, but they can’t see that yet.

The first reason that it’s not going to happen is because space doesn’t want humans in it. At least not as humans are presently constituted. The reasons why are made abundantly clear in this compilation of clips from the 1951 documentary film The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Put simply, space does not want humans in it, because humans do not know how to behave.

I believe that humans who think it possible to drive RVs into space do so because they have misapprehended the nature and meaning of the 1984 documentary film Repo Man.

In that true-life tale, various and sundry personages pursue a Chevy Malibu that, it eventually develops, is capable of transporting humans through the cosmos at faster-than-light speeds.

There are two essential elements of the documentary that the RV crowd miss.

First, the being who eventually pilots the craft into space, is someone who does not know how to drive an earthly automobile. Who has in fact intentionally eschewed such knowledge, as explained in the clip below.

Second, when the Malibu ascends into space, it is no longer a Malibu. It is transforming from matter into energy.

Thus, we see clearly, humans are not going to travel in space in RVs. They are not even going to travel there in bodies.

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13 Responses to “A Little Spin”


  1. 1 possum October 25, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Very cool perspective. The lengths to which humankind will go to try reaching outside our physical limits are amazing. Wonder when we will get to take that ride to Mars or the Moon?

  2. 11 possum October 26, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Wow!!! What a way to start another day. That trip down memory lane is one often avoided in my life these days. That was a powerful reminder of just how little we Americans have learned in 40 years. Will we never learn? The effects of war on the land and the people involved is terrible. There is no justification for such actions.

    • 12 bluenred October 26, 2011 at 4:22 am

      I felt bad about posting that, after I (belatedly) remembered who you are, and where you had been.

      • 13 possum October 26, 2011 at 4:55 am

        Don’t feel bad. The memories are softening with age and time. Today at least I can revisit. In times past that was not even possible. Others need those reminders. You did a public service with the posting.


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