Tuesday, October 21, 2003. 8:53PM
As the host of a semi popular website, the most common question I get asked is "do you think it is cruel to keep a giraffe as a pet," to which I usually reply, "not if you live in a tall house." After that, the question "do you think it is acceptable to plagiarize Red Dwarf" usually follows. "Only as long as they keep delaying the movie," I retort. Then, like clockwork, this imaginary question asker asks "why aren't you head of NASA?" To this I have no answer. I should be head of NASA.
This man, however, need not ask such a question. His name is Daniel S. Goldin - Dan S. Goldin to his friends - and he is the head of NASA, or, officially, the Administrator. Now, let's assume for a moment that Daniel S. Goldin dies tomorrow, and instead of calling on someone qualified, or even American, for some reason they call on me. What would I do? Well, nail some of those cute scientist honeys they got there for a minute, but after that, I'd mess things around a little bit. Firstly, I get a whole bunch of new staff in there. The earliest possible data that NASA plans to land on Mars is 2014, being a great little time, when all the planets are lined up in such a way, to make it a lot easier for the Mars men to get home, however, NASA doesn't reckon they'll be ready by 2014, so they'll probably do it a bit later, in 2030 or 2050. Now, the real problem here is the staff, because you see, NASA aims to get a 99.9% safety ratio - meaning that only 1 in every 1000 flights they take ends in a horrible fireball. Now, were it me, I'd be satisfied with around 70%. If someone said to you, "buddy, you're going to the moon, but there's a bit less than 1 in 3 chance you aint coming back" what would you say? "One great leap for man" is what you'd fucking say. You'd be on that ship in a second. Now, because we're saving a lot of time testing things, and we've got a much higher staff and equipment turnover, we can start doing things a bit more cheaply. Have a bit of a production line going for all the equipment we're burning up. Also, because we've cut out the science nerds, we got a lot better breed of Astronaut, I mean, don't get me wrong, these are smart, smart guys, but instead of book smarts, these guys have something a lot more akin to street smarts. They're just a bunch of jackasses who want to fly fast, fight the commies, and have a few adventures. They're cowboys. So we end up with a lot more cool solutions - y'know, guys living on the moon, holes patched with chewing gum, that sort of thing.
Now, step two. We make this baby a bit more lucrative. People are paying the Russians ridiculous amounts - 60 million dollars and the like just for a bit of a cruise round the sky. Well, I mean sure, you can find a dude willing to pay that, then send him up, but I reckon you could make commercial space travel a lot more affordable and still turn a tidy profit. Build a craft something like a Concorde. Now, from memory, a Concorde seats around 100 people. You reduce that capacity a little - make the plane a bit smaller, lighter. Put heat absorbent tiles on the outside, and run two big fuel tanks, fitted to propulsion rockets two the sides of the passenger space, so you've got this baby down to about 50 people. That, and it's capable of flying real high, into the upper atmosphere, then firing a bit of rocket off and ending up in orbit. Put in a nice fiber glass ceiling, so the folks inside can float around and look down on the earth. It reenters and lands just like a regular plane. Maybe go up, spend five or six hours (i.e.; orbit completely) and then land. Charge ten grand a head - that's half a million dollars. Hell, I dunno how much rocket fuel costs, but it's got to be less than that, and at that price, the rich idiots would be lining up around the corner for a chance to float around a bit. For half a million we let them charter it and fuck in space. You can't tell me you haven't wondered what that would be like. In fact, we could even build a special plane in which the cabin was divided into three or four private sections, and let a bunch of people fuck. Then we could video tape them and release a series of porn films called 10,000 Miles High Club - in fact, that could be the name of the charter service. Wow. Anyway, my point is, there's a lot of money to be made in space.
Right. Now, we've got bucket loads of cash and a pile of psychotic spacemen, what do we do? That's pretty simple. We build a runway on the moon. Yes, a runway on the moon. Why? Two reasons. Firstly, at present, NASA lacks the capability to land on the moon again. Sure, they could whip up a lander in a year or so, but they don't have a spare one sitting in a hanger somewhere, just in case. If you said, "fly me to the moon, tomorrow, I want to swing among the stars," they would say "no" and "fuck you" for good measure. If, however, they had a runway on the moon, this would be no problem, because they could land a space shuttle their whenever they felt so inclined. Now, this would make us a billion dollars with the tourism trade, but their is a greater scientific basis to my idea than just that. After we had a runway, which I guess we'd build there by building four or five big fuck off landers and dropping twenty guys on the surface, we could start to ferry stuff up there. Get a building or two - facilities to repair spacecraft, and most importantly, a whole pile of fuel. Hell, I don't know what kind of minerals are on the moon, but we could maybe mine some and make the return trips worth something.
Now, we have a nice little facility on the moon, and a good little natural advantage for going to Mars. You see, on the moon, as everyone knows, they have about one sixth our gravity. This means that to launch a large thing would take about one sixth the power from the moon. This means, that as long as we can get the components up there, we can construct some seriously big things in a decent environment - a bit of gravity, oxygen, all that, and then launch them with not much effort at all, making it plausible to put huge models - even stations in orbit around Mars. There is only one problem with this plan. Well, two, in that you'd have to time everything to you were facing the right direction, but that'd happen pretty much every day anyway, the other one being that Dennis M. Hope owns the moon.
In 1980, based on the 1967 UN treaty that stated that no government could own a stellar body, he submitted this claim to the UN, and the governments of what were then the only two space faring nations, the USA and the USSR.
"DECLARATION OF OWNERSHIP"
This is to inform the sovereign planet of, Earth, that, Dennis
M. Hope, is now and shall ever be known as, "THE OMNIPITANT RULER OF THE
LIGHTED LUNAR SURFACE." Mr. Hope. Will here-in-after, also have the exalted
title of, "THE HEAD CHEESE." Any and all further transactions in
regard to, Real Estate planning, development, and further exploration of the
lighted lunar surface will be done at the advice and consent of, "THE HEAD
All existing mineral, water, oil, and liquid rights will
henceforth remain with, "THE HEAD CHEESE," until such time as he
declares differently. "THE HEAD CHEESE," will have total governmental
say as to tenants and governmental entities that wish to negotiate any
involvement with the Lighted Lunar Surface.
I, "THE OMNIPITANT RULER OF THE LIGHTED LUNAR SURFACE,
"THE HEAD CHEESE") on this 22nd day of November 1980, do hereby inform
the world that the ownership of the Moon, of Earth, is hereby claimed by me,
Dennis M. Hope. Said property shall remain in my possession until such time as I
Let it also be known to all mankind that I subsequently claim
ownership of the remaining known eight planets and their respective moons from
this day forward. As owner I hold all rights over these properties without
limitation. The planets claimed are known to mankind as: MERCURY, VENUS, MARS,
JUPITER, SATURN, URANUS, NEPTUNE and PLUTO, respectively.
It is further declared that all known rules and laws pertaining
to homestead acts as known on the planet, Earth, are hereby declared invalid on
the above listed planets and moons.
I, Dennis M. Hope, do hereby make these claims with all the
given rights as my forefathers claimed the property known to all mankind as,
earth. Accept my sincerest desires to cooperate with all foreign sovereignties
and their representatives and trust I that I will offer all humanity to share in
this tremendous adventure.
Dennis M. Hope - "THE HEADS CHEESE" November 22, 1980
"THE OMNIPITANT RULER OF THE LIGHTED LUNAR SURFACE"
cc: USA, U.S.S.R., United Nations General Assembly
He has been acknowledged by the US government, and largely thought to be legal owner of the moon (although, he has many detractors). The afore mentioned 1967 treaty also states that no earthy court has jurisdiction over matters in space, so nobody can really dispute his claim, and he sells bits of the moon (and Mars) over the Internet at www.lunarembassy.com. I just thought you might get a kick out of that. Really, in terms of my runway, it has no real significance. How is he going to stop us? He's not. He can't sue us under his own loop hole, and besides, it's not really all that expensive for us to buy a little land off him. In fact, we could build our hanger, and have a court in it, and sue his ass out of the moon.
Anyway, I've lost my train of thought... whatever that was... and well, I looked long and hard for a picture of one of those sexy NASA women I mentioned before, but all the women on the NASA website were old, fat and black, and although some of the women on google certainly were sexy... well... I don't know. Just didn't seem right. Anyway, this girl is the "worlds sexiest gamer," with a mighty 6.3 out of ten. Why so low? Because gamers are fundamentally ugly (although, this girl is quite sexy), and besides, it's really only the gamers willing to send photos into the Internet and be judged. I don't know. The highest male score is 3.6, which I guess is because all gamers are men. Well folks. This is it. Log regulars: I've been playing Civilization again - 3 this time. Everyone: Catch you on the flip side.