Beam Me Up, Please
While the election will be mentioned briefly here I just wanted to write something quick, diversionary, and mostly fun. We are in the oh-so-serious time leading up to this most momentous of election days and concern is warranted. I am just constitutionally incapable of being dour and serious all of the time. If you are wondering whether I’m the guy who is forever coming up with dark humor at inappropriate times yes, yes I am.
It’s just the way I’m wired.
Anyway, I felt that a distraction was in order this week.
While having a Slack conversation with my colleague Bryan Preston at the beginning of the week, we were going over the news of the day and the looming news of next week. He said something to the effect of, “Yeah, there’s water on the moon and nobody’s talking about it.”
So we talked about it.
NASA discovered some water on the sunlit surface of the moon for the first time, raising questions about how water is created and how it persists on the lunar surface, NASA announced Monday.
NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) detected water molecules in Clavius Crater, a large crater visible from Earth, confirming previous observations that there may be water on the sunlit surface of the moon, according to NASA’s announcement.
“Prior to the SOFIA observations, we knew there was some kind of hydration,” Casey Honniball, the lead author who published the results from her graduate thesis work at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in Honolulu, said in the announcement. “But we didn’t know how much, if any, was actually water molecules — like we drink every day — or something more like drain cleaner.”
Obviously, I’m hoping it’s not drain cleaner because nobody likes Pabst Blue Ribbon.
This news immediately got me thinking about a NatGeo show called Mars: Inside SpaceX that I recently watched on Disney Plus. It’s a couple of years old but I’m always behind on movies and television stuff.
There was some talk in the special about the fact that more than 50 years after we first landed on the moon we haven’t really done much to push the boundaries of space exploration. Not only should we be well on our way to launching a Mars mission by now but we should probably have been back to the moon and set up a base and maybe some 7-11s.
We managed to get to the moon with 1960s technology and as the technology grew by leaps and bounds we set our manned space flight sights lower. Very participation trophy, wouldn’t you say?
One interesting comment from the special had to do with Wernher von Braun and the Saturn V rocket, which launched the Apollo astronauts to the moon. The Saturn V was apparently a bit of an overkill for the moon launch, according to one of the experts being interviewed. He said that von Braun had really designed it for eventual travel beyond the moon, specifically to Mars.
I love technology. I love the 21st century. I am, however, a product of the Space Race years and not alone in thinking that maybe we would have achieved a little more than building a space station by now.
NASA will probably thrive again now that private industry is involved. That’s the dream, anyway.
Kids from my era are still waiting for our Jetsons hovercars. Not just a hovercar, but one that folded up into a briefcase so you didn’t have to park it. #WINNING.
We were spoiled by a cartoon.
Right now, I’m thinking about how nice it would be to get away to Club Med Moon next week after the election.
For now, the promise of that will have to get me through all of the election shenanigans.
PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.