Guess what NASA wants to do in the next 15 years?? THIS.
Awesome, huh? You didn’t click on the link, did you? Click it. CLICK IT!
According to the article, it would take half a year to travel to an asteroid. Can you imagine that? Traveling at, what, a bazillion miles an hour? And it would STILL take 6 months to reach an asteroid.
“This is the big step,” said Kent Joosten, chief architect of the human exploration team at Johnson Space Center. “This is out into the universe, away from Earth’s gravity completely… This is really where you are doing the ‘Star Trek’ kind of thing”
Do you think they’ll let me go? I’ve never seen Star Trek. I just won’t tell them that.
“But sending people to one won’t be easy. You can’t land on an asteroid because you’d bounce off – it has virtually no gravity. Reaching it might require a NASA spacecraft to harpoon it. Heck, astronauts couldn’t even walk on it because they’d float away.
NASA is thinking about jetpacks, tethers, bungees, nets and spiderwebs to allow explorers to float just above the surface of it while attached to a smaller mini-spaceship”
There must be some kind of sign-up sheet. I was never afraid of those bouncy moonwalks when I was little. So I would not be a scaredy-cat on the mission. I’ll tell them that.
Why does NASA want to send humans to an asteroid? Well, for two reasons:
- The ultimate goal is to send humans to Mars. Landing first on an asteroid would be “a better testing ground than returning to the moon”
- “Every 100 million years or so an asteroid 6 miles wide – the type that killed off the dinosaurs – smacks Earth, said NASA Near Earth Object program manager Donald Yeomans. If NASA can get astronauts to an asteroid, they can figure out a way of changing a potential killer’s orbit. They’ll experiment with the safe one they land on”
So basically, they’re trying to save humankind from an imminent, fiery, destructive death. No biggie.
Well this is scary stuff. But fascinating too! We’re actually going to try to change the orbit of an asteroid. It’s incredible what humans have been able to accomplish in outer space. It’s vast, dangerous, and mysterious, yet the most intelligent of our species has courageously ventured into the black abyss in order to make discoveries and expand our frontiers. (NASA, if you are reading this…that was eloquent wasn’t it? I could be your embedded reporter on the mission! “This is Grace, reporting live from the asteroid…”).
Assuming that we don’t get killed off by a killer asteroid, imagine what we may discover decades and centuries from now. Space is infinite and the possibilities are endless (NASA, I wouldn’t use any clichés like that, though). I bet there is life on other planets, millions of light years away from us. I wonder if they, too, are debating over abortion and gay rights and the economy. Maybe they deal with “debt ceilings” and “NFL Lockouts” and “Snookis” too. Or perhaps their world is much, much different.
What if there is a parallel universe out there with versions of ourselves that made different decisions and ended up with different lives? I’m married to Jonathan Papelbon in that universe. And I’m best friends with David Ortiz’s wife. And we watch every game together and talk about how tough it is to be a Red Sox wife. And then we get manicures. Hey…you can’t prove me wrong!
Tell me, what do you think could be out there? What might we discover?
I sure hope we discover aliens soon…cause Katy Perry makes them seem pretty damn awesome…