Archive for October 25th, 2011

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.



When I Worked

October 2011
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