Friday Fives – Uranus edition

space mandala

What’s the worst thing Neil Armstrong could have said while stepping on the Moon for the first time?

Good luck, Mr Gorski.  Take a minute to read that, it’s a pretty great story!

You’re the first astronaut to land on Mars (or another planet). What do you say?

This is the beginning of a brilliant and exciting new partnership!  (I am talking to the aliens, here.  I don’t believe in aliens… but I most certainly don’t NOT believe in them.  To me, odds are they exist.  Ok, let’s just get into it, shall we?  What drives me crazy is Earthcentric observations like ‘there could never be life in _____.  There is no oxygen, and it’s 10,000 degrees.  You would boil in your first breath!  That is stupid, it just means it couldn’t support our life.

I can imagine a class room on Blemar 5, where they teach the kids “earth?  No way there could be life on earth.  Average temperature is 72 degrees.  You’d boil to death.  Also, there is virtually ZERO sulphur to breathe.  Oh, and by the way dumbass… it’s 75% water.  Do you have gills?  Exactly!  There is zero life on Earth and zero chances.  If there were, they would have contacted us by now.   That’s just a joke, we know there are no such things as aliens.”

If you could wander around in outer space, where would you go?

I think that is a moot question. Isn’t it all the same?  No no no, geesh… let’s have fun with this.  Ok, I think it would be cool to go up to, or into, Saturns rings.  That is all I can think of.  I took some astronomy classes in college, and we had a very good observatory.  Not just the famous one in town that discovered Pluto, but our campus observatory was dope, too.  One night, I got to see the rings of Saturn with my own eyes (as opposed to looking at pictures of it).

That was 20 years ago, and I still remember how giddy I was.  It was also a humbling moment, then they explain (and you finally understand) that what you looking at is so many miles away.  “that thing you are seeing?  If you left right now, and went straight in that direction, you would get there in 45 years.”  Again… humbling as I realize we are just ants on a rock here.

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And then I think about this; they say the sun is ___ light years away. (editors note – 4.2 light years away).  Then, they say “so, the light you are seeing actually left the sun 4 years ago”.  Here is my next thought, and I am 100% serious.  I think then, and do now “so… if the sun went out today, we wouldn’t know for 4 years?  Doesn’t that mean the sun could be gone now?”  Everytime I do this, they look at me like an idiot… so I press the question no further.

Wow, this is fun.  I, as always, didn’t write these questions. I am loving them, though.  I forgot how much I truly loved, and love, astronomy.

What would be the most underwhelming overwhelming announcement that NASA scientists make on Monday?

America, we kinda left a guy up there.  About 18 months ago.  Actually, it’s a kinda funny story.  We can’t get into that now, though.  Listen, we think he’s fine, but we are going back after him.

Aw crap, it just occurred to me they made a movie about that.  So, my insight isn’t so great.  Still, I swear it was an original thought I have been thinking about since I read this piece.  It’s a program NASA put together after the last shuttle disaster.  In doing the post mordem, they were asked to put on paper exactly what a rescue would have looked like.  Was it feasible.  The answer is a surprising, and very complex… maybe.  It’s a long read, print it out at work.  Luckily, and con-incidentally, NASA had another shuttle on deck.  It could have been made ready in about 3 weeks.  Man, it’s a hell of a very true story.

That movie was great, though. The Matt Damon movie, you should see it.  Same with the Sandra Bullock one.  Don’t bother with the Jennifer Lawrence one, though.  That was kinda dumb.

Point being… how exciting would that be?  Only then could we, and would we, truly unite as a country.  The planning would be a political mess, and people would complain (rightly so) “how about taking that 53 million it would cost and spend it here… on Earth.  Maybe fix some roads or stuff.”

Once that thing got up in the air, though.. we’d be all in it together.

If NASA came to you tomorrow and asked if you would be willing to take part in a one-way trip to establish a Martian colony would you  accept?

One way?  No.  at least give me the chance of a 2 way.  There is too much I love down here to walk away from.  Even though my attempts at Buddhist studies tell me that attachment is what really causes sorrow.  I can’t walk away from my mom, my wife, the dogs.  No way, man.  The cat, though, I could away from that… you know… for like humanity and stuff.  How could you leave this behind?

monty and willy spring 2015

aw crap, maybe I’d have to take the cat, too.  He really loves that cat!

monty and willy 2016

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