Sponsored Content

Intermarkets' Privacy Policy

Donate to Ace of Spades HQ!

Recent Entries
Absent Friends
GnuBreed 2024
Captain Hate 2023
moon_over_vermont 2023
westminsterdogshow 2023
Ann Wilson(Empire1) 2022
Dave In Texas 2022
Jesse in D.C. 2022
OregonMuse 2022
redc1c4 2021
Tami 2021
Chavez the Hugo 2020
Ibguy 2020
Rickl 2019
Joffen 2014
AoSHQ Writers Group
A site for members of the Horde to post their stories seeking beta readers, editing help, brainstorming, and story ideas. Also to share links to potential publishing outlets, writing help sites, and videos posting tips to get published. Contact OrangeEnt for info:
maildrop62 at proton dot me
Cutting The Cord And Email Security
Moron Meet-Ups

Ducks Redux | Main | Update On August 6, 2001, "A Day Of Infamy"
August 09, 2005

The Space Shuttle Is a "Hoopty"

Which is this blogger's slang for a broken-down old junker.

The Space Shuttle never did all that much. I think it was originally sold not according to its usefulness -- it can't do much that a conventional rocket can't -- but on the basis of its putative gee-whiz factor, a real live spaceship, launching into the heavens and landing again. It was sold, I imagine, on the intangible benefits of exiciting a whole new generation about the wonders of exploration and science.

But even as a kid I was a little underwhelmed by the Shuttle. Partly that was out of childhood ignorance and unreasonable expectations; a real space ship, I thought, ought to be able to manage more than an orbital mission. Or a scientific mission (many of these scientific missions concocted by fourth-graders in unending public-relations maneuvers to justify continuing the program) to determine how spiders build their webs in zero-g.

Is this really a concern for anybody? I can't even imagine arachnologists being particularly excited about spiders in zero-g. See, they don't actually live in zero-g. So what the hell does that tell us? That creatures will behave slightly differently, and be a little disoriented, in an enviornment entirely alien to them? For this we need $500 million shuttle missions?

It's like designing an experiment to find out how a pack of pumas behave when addicted to smack and forced to live 24/7 in one of the seedy back-booths at the Viper Room.

Sorta fun, yes, and it would be just terrific to see Steven Dorff mauled by junkie hipster pumas, but is that really the sort of science that we're interested in funding?

Depends on the price, I guess. If it could be done for a ten thousand or so, it seems well worth it to me. More than that, and I'd demand a bigger name celebrity than Steven Dorff. Someone like, say, Stacey Q, or Rip Taylor. Or, preferably, both.

The newest or best two shuttles should be maintained for those few missions actually requiring the shuttles' capabilities. Ferrying people to the boondoggle-but-too-much-money-sunk-into-it-to-abandon-it-now international space station; fixing or recapturing malfunctioning satellites; maybe even the rare space rescue mission. But it doesn't seem worth the price or risk to continue sending the shuttles up on routine, make-work missions that do little but serve as PR for NASA funding (and not very well at that).

NASA should stick by and large to unmanned probes, launched by conventional rockets. If they want a real gee-whiz, inspire-a-generation-of-kids-(and adults) mission, they ought to go back to the Moon again. Yes, it's been done, but not in my lifetime (or at least not in the working-memory part of my lifetime), and I'm sure they can think of some new twist on the mission to make it seem new.

Like-- how would monkeys in space-suits react to the Moon's reduced gravity? Something fun like that. Toss a bushel of bananas into the low-gravity non-air and watch those monkeys go literally ape-shit berserk trying to catch them, jumping around and doing f'n' back-flips like acrobatic retards on Red Bull.

Not really science so much as the world's most expensive reality TV show.

And of course I'd watch.

Shuttles to be Retired by 2010: Which is a good idea, but until then, let's ixne on the frequent and frequently useless shuttle flights. Only launch them when actually, genuinely needed, and stop with all this idiocy about these ungainly, awkward flyin' minivans "exciting a generation of children about the wonders of science."

Thanks to My perpetual tormentor Dave From It's Old.

digg this
posted by Ace at 12:17 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Sharkman: "The standard bomb load for a B-17 on a long missio ..."

Don Black: "TOR 4 COL 3 Final ..."

Blutarski, Gradually then Suddenly: "I know my personal favorite discovery of his was P ..."

Blonde Morticia: " Where? I love to hate-watch that brach. Posted ..."

Catch Thirty-Thr33: "190 Re: Someone else; I just got my 12 year old gr ..."

Puddleglum at work: "[i]Where? I love to hate-watch that brach. Posted ..."

Aetius451AD: "Where? I love to hate-watch that brach. Posted by ..."

Aetius451AD: "190 Re: Someone else; I just got my 12 year old gr ..."

mnw: "192 Jim Undoubtedly. So...maybe Brandon wil ..."

Blonde Morticia: " ewetub recommended news: -rachel maddow rippi ..."

Tom Servo: "Yes, Roger Corman started an incredible number of ..."

davidt: "193 GOPe invested a lot of time, money, and politi ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64