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  • My NASA Suggestion


    Very simple- for stuff to keep on the International Space Station, SPARE PARTS FOR EVERYTHING ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE. Because this lack of computers and the fact that the astronauts have to go work on the shuttle with a medical stapler have me worried about their return to Earth.

    In fact, you know what would be another great addition to the ISS? A garage. A nice big bay they could fly into and close doors behind and fill up with warm air while they’re working on things. None of this shade tree stuff at 210 miles above the planet with no tools. And of course if you’ve been reading this blog since 2004, you know that I’d also like to drag the Hubble over and bolt it to the side. Mainly because it would look cool there, but also it will be easy to maintain with our new garage. They’ll probably start putting up cheesy calendars and You Want It When* xeroxes in there, but it’s a small hazard of having such a useful facility. Once again NASA, that one’s on the house.

    **UPDATE- I don’t mean for my comments to be part of all the piling on of NASA that’s going down everywhere, like from this tool at Time’s online magazine. He’s ignoring one of the main purposes of the Space Station, which is to make a group space venture that the other nations of the world can join us in. And as for the other projects he speaks of like returning to the moon, don’t even think about stuff like that until we work out the bugs of simply spending lots of time off the planet. I hate when people talk about massive undertakings like the ISS as if they were movie reviews. “Ooh, NASA phoned that one in.” Unmanned probes are very successful (except when they get to a planet and immediately stop working), but no one cares about projects that don’t have real people going somewhere. And if you want a space agency, it has to capture the public’s imagination. The truth is NASA has lots of people to please just like any industry, and obviously can’t make all the calls they way they would really like to. Like I’m sure no one wanted those Russian computers on the station, but that was probably the way Russia could contribute at that point. Look Time Guy, you launch a bottle rocket without burning your fingers and then we’ll listen to what you have to say. Meanwhile, we’ve got a space garage to build.

    *You know the picture I mean, with those hysterical little naked guys.


    Comment from Eric
    Time: June 14, 2007, 7:14 am

    I had a dream once that was set in a future where the ISS was converted to an Earth museum. We all lived on Mars, see, and as Earth was uninhabitable, it was the closest we could get to the planet where our form of life came from. I think Al Gore was using telepathy on my dreams. Anyway, the most striking thing I remember from the dream was a giant picture of Pete Rose saying that he never made it into the hall of fame because of his gambling. Poor ol’ Pete. Even in a sci-fi future made of my own subconscious, he gets no respect.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: June 14, 2007, 11:07 am

    That Pete Rose detail is AWESOME.