Today, America still has a space effort, but sadly it just doesn’t inspire like it once did in the heady days of Apollo and Gemini. Unmanned probes and orbiting space labs are fine, I guess, but where is the glamor? Where are the crewcut astronaut he-men with names like ‘Deke’ and ‘Buzz’ and ‘Gus,’ driving around Houston in matching big block Corvettes and Ray-Bans? Nowhere, that’s where. They’ve all been outsourced by space computers and floaty-haired National Junior High Science Teacher of the Year nerds. You tell me — do we really want dorks like these as Earth’s first line of defense against invading intergalactic aliens? No wonder my brother and I have to be half-blotto before we play pretend astronauts anymore.
If America wants to get back on the right track, scientific space mission-wise, we need to once again pick an inspiring, audacious goal, and man it with the kind of inspirational crew to make it happen. At long last, let us realize mankind’s most cherished dream — sending the entire United States Congress to the Moon by 2010.
When I mention this proposal to my space engineering friends at Meier’s Tap, they are often skeptical. They’ll argue it’s impossible, that even NASA’s most powerful booster rockets never anticipated a payload of 535 people including Charlie Rangel and Jerrold Nadler. Look man, I’m just the idea guy, and I’m sure those details can be worked out. When John F. Kennedy first proposed going to the Moon in 1961, did you people expect him to already have a formula for Tang? The beauty of my proposal is that our Astro-Congress is already on payroll — and chock full of crisis tested problem-solving engineers. If they can take over the entire US auto industry and re-engineer the American heath care system in two weeks, surviving a Moon mission will be a snap!
Yes, there are potential risks. Especially with Chief Flight Engineer Ted Kennedy at the controls. But did fear of the unknown stop Lewis and Clark? Did a couple of minor impalings scare us away from playing Lawn Darts? If Congress is going to be a bunch of sissies about it, I guess we could start out with a test flight of Astro-Congress test chimpanzees. When they splash down safely, we can then send up the real Congress, while their replacement chimpanzees debate pressing national legislative issues. As for Congressmen who still refuse to join the mission, I have one word: chloroform.
With senators like Barbara Boxer and Robert Byrd, how would we know the difference?