Humour Politics Technology

Newts In Space!

The large external gills of the crested newt
Space Newt

And as the special free-gift-inside part of his Presidential nomination bid, arch-conservative Newt Gingrich has decided that we can all go to the moon. There will, he says, be a permanent US base there – by the end of his second term.

It’s great to have ambitions, isn’t it? It’s great especially to invest in technology and humanity’s future, to discover, to spurn the surly bonds of Earth and so on. Yes, these are great things.

But what is also good is having a President who isn’t out of his ****ing mind.

Constructing a base on the moon would be, by far, the greatest material undertaking ever attempted by humans, requiring many lunar missions just to ferry up enough materials and equipment. Essentially it’s the same problem as building the International Space Station all over again. Remember how long that took? Only it will have to be considerably larger and safer because missions there will be many times more expensive and therefore infrequent. And before that construction can even begin, they need a spacecraft. Something capable of carrying a far greater payload than the Apollo/Saturn vehicle of the 60s will have to be designed, built and tested. All while America doesn’t appear to be drowning in unneeded cash.

And all, unless Gingrich has some secret plan to usurp the constitution – “My Presidency ends when I’m on the Moooooon!” – within eight years. That’s nuts. It’s just crazy stuff he’s saying because he’s getting desperate. Or possibly, desperate stuff he’s saying because he’s going crazy.

Yet I hope he wins the nomination. That way, the next US Presidential election will be between Obama and him – which is the closest we’re ever going to get to straight Good versus Evil. And as war between good and evil is a sign of the End Times, it will herald the return of Christ – whereupon all the Christian Fundamentalists will discover they’re on the wrong side. Which will be a laugh.

2 replies on “Newts In Space!”

An advantage of sending stuff to the moon, rather than orbit, is that all you need is a trajectory which ends with being caught in the gravity well of the moon. It doesn’t matter how long that trajectory takes (at least, it’s preferred it’s within a reasonable timeframe of say a few months) and you don’t have to be too precise where it ends either. All the supplies can be “spacedropped” to the surface within a reasonable area of the actual base location and then gathered by station personnel. (You do need some mechanism to soften the landing when sending more fragile equipment, though, but raw materials can mostly just be dumped in a sufficiently sturdy container)

In fact, to start out you can simply send up the first modules there, see where exactly they drop, decide if it’s good enough and only then start sending the carbon units to build it out.

Also, there already is a Space Newt! She looks like this!

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