It’s Official: Space Travel is Awesome Again

Space travel is in trouble. The funding is being cut, public interest is waning, and the most talented minds of the future generations are more impressed by cel-shading than they are by flying to another planet. It just seems like there’s no more awe – no sexy danger, no adventurous mystique – to the reality of modern space travel. Well, buck up friends, because Science has suddenly remembered that space ships are supposed to be rad, and they are about to start seriously delivering on your sci-fi wet dreams, with equal parts Badass and Dangerously Insane:

Unnamed Space Fishbowl

alt text

This vehicle, resembling nothing more than a particularly intimidating orbital sex-toy, was designed by Armadillo Aerospace, a Texas company hoping to sell tourists tickets to space. Jesus, look at that damn thing: It’s so preposterous and unwieldy that it would be laughed out of the room if it was painted it on the cover of a ‘50s era sci-fi novel, much less earnestly proposed to a board of multi-million dollar investors. The only thing that could make it more ridiculous? They’ve actually green-lit it, and are building a prototype that they hope to have functional and flying within the next year! So good news for you – if you have a hundred grand to spare, and have always wanted to fly a Buttplug into outer space where you will apparently be eaten by the kraken that dwells deep within its core.

Seriously, what the fuck?

Space Travel Suitable for Even the Most Effete of Aristocrats

Scientists at the Paris Observatory – presumably unsatisfied with the crass, plebian Futurism present in modern space travel aesthetics – are working on plans for a more classy breed of inter-planetary exploration: A hot air balloon.

The balloon has been proposed to navigate the landscape of Titan, where the nitrogen rich atmosphere would function quite similarly to ours. Though no prototypes are officially planned, the idea is picking up steam, and even the most skeptical researchers who previously thought the French were just full of hot air, are now getting an inflated opinion of the concept, with all expectations ballooning out of control, the only challenge left is to – ah, fuck it. You’ve probably punched your monitor in already and thus wouldn’t even be able to read the rest of my awesome ballooning puns. Let’s just move on.

Deep Flight Challenger (Action Figure Not Included)

The Deep Flight Challenger, designed for the late billionaire adventurer Steve Fossett, was originally intended to withstand the intense pressures of deep sea exploration while still maintaining maneuverability and increased visibility. The vessel, however, is apparently proving a viable concept for space travel as well, making it just two mounted laser cannons away from M.A.S.K.

Oh! Never mind, there they are.

It’s really probably for the best that Fossett never got to pilot this thing, as it would have been immediately clear to even the dullest observer that “billionaire adventurer” Steve Fossett was actually Batman the second he started tooling around in his transforming super-plane.

New Mars Rover Invades Red Planet

NASA’s new Mars rover purports to solve a problem the previous vehicles have long suffered from: They’re boring as hell. Yes, we sent one to mars and everybody geeked out for about fifteen minutes, until it became clear that the thing could only do about a tenth of a mile an hour, occasionally pausing in its raucous, careening ride for two straight months when it got stuck on a pebble. Well, not this time. This time the rover is a little less like an RC car with dying batteries, and a little more like a nuclear powered laser firing death tank.

The main benefits of the improved rover being that the different power source harnesses a great deal more energy than the previous solar-based system, and the new laser is capable of “vaporizing most types of rock” found on the planet. So they’re not even pretending that the laser is there for experiments; it’s solely to fuck shit up and show the red planet who’s the god damn boss around here.

The IBEX: Our Telescope Can Beat Up Your Telescope

The Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, is an orbital telescope built to study the somewhat mysterious effect known as Termination Shock. In addition to being the name of my new cyborg-themed AC/DC cover band, Termination Shock is the term for turbulence that occurs when the solar winds from our sun abruptly cease at the boundaries of our solar system. So, maybe a big telescope doesn’t exactly ping your Fuckin’ A Server, but listen: The IBEX is launched by strapping it to a Pegasus rocket, which is in turn strapped to the bottom of an L-1011 aircraft. The plane then flies as high as it can before firing the rocket carrying the IBEX into orbit, which then kicks its own solid state engines on, blasting it even further into space. So in summary: It’s a spaceship mounted to a jet that’s fired from a missile.

If you are physically capable of reading that sentence without making explosion noises with your mouth and throwing pens at your cat, well then congratulations Professor Maturity. I hope you’re happy over there on Bleak, Joyless Island.

With all these new space-travel developments rocking the sense right out of your damn head, I think it’s high time we updated that age old saying “they can put a man on the moon…but they can’t [improve whatever technology.]” The saying should now go: They can put a Kraken in space and fire Telescope Missiles from Transformer Planes…therefore I have no complaints whatsoever about modern technology. They obviously have their fucking priorities straight.

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18 Responses to It’s Official: Space Travel is Awesome Again

  1. Aidan says:

    Ah Rob, laughing at this shit drunkenly is the reason why I leave the missus where she is and go out drinking of a friday night only to later return and read and fall about the place (and then carefully correct my grammar and spelling so no one thinks im that drunk)

  2. tojo2000 says:

    Now that science has revived M.A.S.K and G.I. Joe, I think we all know the real reason why they are going to make Mammoth clones. Can you say Dino Riders?

  3. Brett says:

    …I don’t have a cat… They wont let me around animals anymore… But I threw pens at the mirror… because he is my only friend now… I JUST WANT TO TOUCH SOME ONE ELSE

  4. Jes says:

    Don’t mean to be a tool but the laser zapper on the new Mars rover is pretty cool-serious. Everything it zaps is having a chemical spectroscopic analysis made. The advantage is they can see something interest they can zap it and get a quick chemical breakdown instantly to see if it’s worth the all drill-grind-analyze production. They can skip stuff that’s just like they did before. Better bang for the buck that way.

    http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/sc_instru_chemcam.html

  5. tojo2000 says:

    You’re such a tool.

  6. (Mouth explosion noises and karate chops)

  7. The space fishbowl looks like some terrible orbital pleasure device.
    I wonder how much it costs for a ride…

  8. JD says:

    Hey, man. There can never be too many hot air balloon related puns.

    And I seriously hope that the tag from this article is the one that turns up again. Because that should have never turned up in the first place. Ever.

  9. Yog-Sothoth says:

    Did someone say ‘Cthulu’?

    Oh, and I’ll feast on the dead husks of humanity and cast the Earth into a billion years of screaming darkness and yada, yada, yada.

    But seriously, have you guys heard they might come out with a new season of The OC? I’m so totally psyched!

  10. Watty says:

    Space is for poofters!

    MOOSE SHIIIITE!

  11. “taking a one-way trip on the anal dildo Cthulu ship”?

    Best.
    Tag.
    Ever.

    I love this site.

  12. Robert says:

    Aidan,

    I for one am glad that I can assist in your debilitating alcoholism at least a little bit. I pride myself on my excellent enabling.

    Tojo,

    My birthday is coming up soon, and now I know what my wish will be…

    Brett,

    You’re never alone with Jesus. Unfortunately, he’s a shark. So… holy shit, watch out! SHARK!

    Jes,

    You’re a tool, but sweet link dude.

    Forts,

    It costs 100k for a ticket. Also, all of your pride and dignity.

    Everyone else,

    Glad you liked the tag. I hope it was worth it, because I’m about to flooded with frustrated Japanese and Germans stumbling onto this site as site as the particularly disappointing #1 result for “buttplug space tentacles.”

  13. Paul says:

    I think you just ran out of balloon puns, and are desperately trying to cover for that fact.

  14. Seresecros says:

    “The Interstellar Boundary Explorer” is what I call my bed. Hah!

  15. Alice says:

    I would actually pay money to be in one of those Space Fishbowl’s!

  16. Robert says:

    Alice,

    Of course you would, who wouldn’t? The real question is, would you fight the kraken?

  17. Chalks says:

    Hey, like the redesign, feels a tad more intuitive to me, especially when reading articles (i.e. not on the front page). I’m a little confused by your favicon though. Why an ‘m’?

  18. Robert says:

    It stands for “me did not notice that yet.” It will be fixed soon.

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