You Won’t Believe NASAs New Lunar Mission Plan!

The Lead Engineer was distraught at the thought of how many spiders they could have gotten rid of if they had filled the Apollo 11 module with them instead of silly, silly people.

The Lead Engineer was distraught at the thought of how many spiders they could have gotten rid of if they had filled the Apollo 11 module with them instead of silly, silly people.

MURFREESBORO, TN — It has been nearly seventy years* since America went to the Moon.  The reason for the long dearth of Lunar exploration rests on a few factors: paucity of funding and a total boredom with the dull-gray orb that is Luna.  Today, NASA announced new plans to send a crewed mission to the Moon, re-ignite public imagination, and solve a public-health crisis all in one ingenious stroke.

“We’re going to send all the spiders to the moon.”

Lead Engineer Janet Artepollo presented NASAs proposal at a famous Tennessee barbecue restaurant to a packed house, courtesy of a popular 5th grade student’s birthday party.   “The problem with sending humans into space, particularly American humans, is that they weigh just way too damn much.  Spiders, even the big ones with those super-creepy long legs weigh a whole lot less, so we can save a ton on fuel.  Like several tons in fact.  It will take several tons less fuel to send several thousand spiders to the Moon than it would to send just one man.  Especially that man,” Dr. Artepollo said during the press conference, pointing to the portly, balding father of the 5th grader.

Dr. Artepollo fielded several questions and was pressed hard about what they team of NASA engineers hoped to achieve with the spider landing.  “Well, there’s a lot of science to be done.  Good science to answer questions that none of us rocket scientists at NASA know.  Like: Can spiders spin webs in low gravity?  Do spiders need to breathe?  How will the Van Allen belt radiation affect the spiders?  We know that for humans it makes you either stretchy, rocky, flamy, or invisibley, but we have no idea what happens to spiders.  Also, and we think this is equally as important, we get rid of a whole lot of spiders from Earth.”

America's first Arachnaut was tragically killed during training when it was found in the bathtub of one of the lead engineers. Picture by Martin Cooper via Flickr.

America’s first Arachnaut was tragically killed during training when it was found in the bathtub of one of the project engineers.
Picture by Martin Cooper via Flickr.

Dr. Artepollo admitted that spider physiology was not exactly NASAs field of expertise.  “That’s why we hired an etymologist** to consult,” she explained.  “You can find his contribution to the research proposal attached; honestly we didn’t think that he added much to the project.”

TMS did contact the etymologist that Dr. Artepollo cited to get his take on the proposal.  Dr. Jim Rob Ray Tomlikein is Char of Etymology at the University of Southern Kentucky.  “I was very surprised and delighted to be contacted by Dr. Artepollo and her NASA team,” he said.  “I think its a wonderful idea, though I’m not exactly an expert on either spiders or rocket ships so, honestly, it could be an idiotic one.  The money was nice though.  I’m using it to self-publish my new book.  Its all about the history of this language I made up; lots of genealogies and geography, not a lot of that silly adventure and excitement stuff you get too much of these days.  Oh, there are some spiders in it.  Maybe that’s why NASA asked me to help?  Again, I’m not really sure.”

*Fact-checked: 46 years
**TMS later realized that NASA should probably have contacted an entomologist instead.  Then TMS realized that spiders aren’t insects and so even an entomologist would have been wrong.  The correct type of scientist dedicated to studying spiders are called “psychotics”.

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