Sweetass Jumps in a Lunar Rover

NASA is designing a new lunar rover, and this time they’re through fucking around.

nasa chariot 2

The NASA Chariot is just one potential design for a new lunar rover in the works, intended to serve as the workhorse for a permanent lunar station they plan to have in operation by 2020. It may seem like announcing a permanent settlement on the moon in just over a decade would be big news for NASA, but they just kind of slipped it under the radar here and placed the real emphasis on this sweetass concept vehicle instead. I actually think that’s a good move. The hard sciences are posting increasingly lax numbers for new recruits, and promising kids that if they get good grades and work real hard they can get a job as an astronaut – where they’ll spend all of their time in a tiny metal room with no entertainment, doing math problems – isn’t exactly enticing. That’s like promising that if you eat all of your vegetables and do your chores, you’ll get grounded forever. In outer space. And if you try to sneak out, your eyeballs explode.

So, of course they’re stressing their badass new rover first. Look at that thing:

nasa chariot

It has “crab steering,” so that every wheel pivots and drives independently. The driver – after strapping himself in mech-style to that pilot’s chamber – can then pivot 360 degrees, steering the Chariot at full speed in every direction. The damn thing even has hydraulics, presumably to court that Ivy League Cholo demographic. The expression on that driver’s face says it all; he looks like he’s making explosion noises with his mouth. He looks like he’s about to breakdance right on that little platform. He looks like he’s out for revenge, or at least some kind of street justice. And how else were they going to make Astronauts sexy again? Which do you think would be more effective, telling prospective scientists that they get to poop in a foil bag and watch ants spin, or telling them they get to jump the Space General Lee over the Sea of Tranquility?

Actually, that concept just outshone this whole post: The Space General Lee. Does anybody have Hollywood’s number? I don’t think I could stop writing that script if I tried.

Space General Lee

Bo-Bot bent down to adjust his jet-boots. The solar winds blew grit into his intake valves. He stood and surveyed the surroundings, desolate and unyielding.

“Git yer butt movin’, boy” said Rosco 2.0 “Boss Hoggzyl don’t like to be kept waitin’, hear?”

“I hear ya, Sheriff. No need to get your parameters in a twist.” He stepped reluctantly onto the containment platform of the Gamma-Wagon. He would miss the moon summer, sipping Lemon-rays with the boys at the old watering hole, skinny-dipping in the Seas with The Daisy Collective. He knew he couldn’t get away from the law forever, but a bot could hope…

A dull roar broke the silence. A trail of pale gray dust rose from just beyond the lip of a far crater. It was coming this way.

“Now what in the sam hell-” Rosco 2.0 began, but was abruptly cut off.

“Yeeeee-haw!” Luke-Tron’s distinct cry echoed all around them, but where was it coming from?

“Good lawd,” Rosco 2.0’s hologram jaw slackened. Bo-Bot followed his gaze upward, just in time to see Luke-Tron and the Space General Lee hovering inches above his head.

“Sorry, Sheriff. Time for these jet-boots to fly!” Bo-Bot took his cousin’s hand as Luke-Tron gunned the throttle. The engines roared into life, covering Rosco 2.0 in an explosion of debris. As they soared off beyond the horizon, laughing, Rosco 2.0 sputtered and flailed in the half-light of the lunar day. He threw his hat to the ground, and stomped on it in frustration.

“Jjjjjjjjjjuuuu-” the cylinders on the Proto-Waylon began to spin up, “uuuuu….uuuu…Just two good ol’ bots, never feelin’ no guilt. Beat all you ever saw, been in trouble with the law since they day they was built.”

Yeah. You’re welcome for the most awesome idea in history, Planet Earth, it was my pleasure.

EDIT: Also, there’s a new Cracked article by me up today, The 7 Creepiest Real Life Robots. Read it, maybe give it a digg if you like it. Or just build tiny shrines to me in your secret heart. That is good as well.

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17 Responses to Sweetass Jumps in a Lunar Rover

  1. Paul says:

    I think the only real flaw in the idea is that jumping feet-first through the window into the bucket seat on the passenger side might be slightly awkward in a low-gravity situation, with the risk of crotch injury elevated to an unacceptable degree.

  2. Brett says:

    I keep the tiny little shrines I make in hollowed out bibles…

  3. deadlytoque says:

    I suspect a robot built for causin’ trouble would be able to jump into a zero-gravity window without too much trouble.

    The bit that really sells this story is the Proto-Waylon. Just adds that bit of verisimilitude that’s required for a story about the Space General Lee.

    One more thing: does the moon chariot remind anyone else of that remote-controlled truck in the early 90s that had 8 wheels on pivoting sections? Mind you, that thing couldn’t drive in any direction.

  4. bijibadness says:

    haha, the bit about carrying out some type of street justice is golden

  5. Lord Shplane says:

    Someone adapt the Dukes of Hazard theme song to space.

    Nao.

  6. nick says:

    If Jason can go to space, why not the Dukes?

  7. Luke says:

    When I saw that picture of the airborne Space General Lee, Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” popped into my head.

    Damn you Ford commercials!

  8. Mr. Bojangles says:

    You should combine 2001: A Space Odyssey with the Dukes of Hazzard. It would be funny to hear HOG 9000 sing a song called “Daisy.”

  9. Robert says:

    Paul, stop fucking with my dreams. Or get out of them, and then get into my car.

    For make-outs.

  10. Robert says:

    Brett,

    That’s where I keep my spermicidal lubricant.

    Love and punches,
    -Robert

  11. Robert says:

    Nick,

    That is exactly, and I mean exactly my thinking on this matter. But why is Jason in space? How does he benefit from being in space? The Dukes, on the other hand, would be immeasurably cooler in a lesser-gravity environment.

    Think of the jumps, man! My god.

  12. Muledriver says:

    Obscure Billy Ocean reference = 100 points.

  13. I love the fact that it’s all trimmed with gold. Now they just need to make sure it bounces up and down on ridiculously over-tuned hydraulics, and the image will be complete.

    It’s such a shame that there’s no hip-hop in space.

  14. Lord Shplane says:

    “In space, no one can hear your annoying as fuck music”

  15. Robert says:

    Tim,

    RTFA. “It even has hydraulics.” It’s like your wish was granted in retrospect!

    Well wishes and sexy regards,
    -Robert

  16. Robert says:

    Mule,

    Getting obscure Billy Ocean reference = 99 points.

    It’s not quite as good as making it, but close.

  17. tim says:

    ok right now i am in ISS. this stands for In School Suspension. which is basically a room full of kids who skipped and are not allowed to talk for a day. I somehow talked the “teacher” into letting me on the computor and i would like to thank you for making my day.

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