Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Space Travel Will Always Suck


I don't usually go for slideshows or the internet Top Ten lists that seem to be all the rage; but every now and then, some humorous piece catches my eye, so I decide to pass it on. (Translation: At least a dozen people have sent me the same link and asked my opinion about, so somebody out there must think it's funny...)

Cracked.com weighed in on the Six Reasons Space Travel Will Always Suck.

The saddest-but-truest statement starts out the article with a big bang: "We love movies about space, but are continually bored by actual space travel. When's the last time you rushed to the TV to watch a space shuttle take off?"

Of course, this doesn't apply to anyone who reads blogs like mine, since the answer is um, pretty much EVERY time one takes off! Sadly, this is no longer true for the majority of the population, and some of my friends' kids don't even know there is such a thing as an actual Space Shuttle. Too busy playing video games, honing the apparently increasingly-important skill of learning to shoot people in the face and avoid sunshine or fresh air at all costs.

Science Fiction SpaceCraft
Yeah, we wish.

They drive home the point that even for far-off future generations, space travel will certainly not meet our expectations, because...
6. There is No Sex in Space
5. It'll Be More Like a Submarine Than Star Trek
4. Life in Zero-Gravity is Horrible
3. There's Nothing to See
2. Getting Anywhere Interesting Means Never Going Home
1. In Space, On-Star Won't Do Shit For You

I read the entire article, desperately hoping I could disagree with it. Nope. They nailed it on every count.

No way to reproduce, so we aren't going anywhere as a group. Cramped quarters, not a cruise ship. Weightlessness messes with your head, your balance, your blood, your muscles (including your heart) and your bones. All that just to travel through 99.99% of blackness – perhaps to reach something that will be the last thing you ever see. And that's if you make it at all, considering all the massive dangers… because you're dead if even the slightest thing goes wrong.

Hey, suppose we go to all that trouble... and THIS
is the only thing on the other end of the journey?

Key concept: "Your life depends on your time aboard the starship being skull-crushingly boring."

So apparently, that's the funny part. The unfunny part? Underneath all the hyperbole, the message is clear:
We all want the "future" of space travel to get here, but few people want to put in the work to get us there. Now all we need is an amusingly tasteless description of the General Theory of Relativity so people understand what we’re up against… o wait, they had that too!