LOST IN SPACE  3:42 pm July 21, 2011

Goodbye Forever To America’s Dreams of Space Travel (and Everything Else)

by Ken Layne

The shuttle program is so old that Roger Moore was already old in the Star Wars/Space Shuttle crap 007 movie pictured here.America’s half-century of manned spaceflight came to a crashing end (actually a safe landing) today as the space shuttle Atlantis completed the final flight of the entire NASA program. In a nation that refuses to care for its sick and find work for its tens of millions of idle people, sending a 1970s low-orbit glider around the Earth every so often is obviously out of the question. As for replacements, there is no replacement for the shuttle. Human exploration and colonization of space will be left to some other country, or perhaps it won’t happen at all. And considering what we’ve done to this planet, there are worthwhile arguments for simply keeping our dumb, violent, diabetic race of slobs here on Earth until we die out from bird flu or anal leakage or whatever.

The first space shuttle didn’t actually fly to space, and was named the “Starship Enterprise” because of a canceled teevee show from the ’60s, about a devil-eared Jewish scientist and his randy midwestern pal, who liked to get it on with colored girls … green colored girls. The actual NASA shuttle program could never really compare with that cheesy NBC show, let alone with the exciting space opera movies of the actual time period when the shuttles began their tedious orbits.

It was Ronald Reagan who, after destroying America’s education system, decided to give a “high five” to teachers by sending an actual school teacher into orbit. And that shuttle exploded on takeoff. Later, after 9/11, another shuttle crashed over “Palestine, Texas.” Before the shuttle Endeavor’s final flight this year, a heavily armed lunatic in Arizona massacred a dozen people and somehow didn’t manage to kill the commander’s congresswoman wife, despite shooting her through the skull.

And now the Atlantis has landed in Florida and the teabagger Texan hero Rick Perry is whining that Obama won’t give billions in federal money to a new space program which Congress wouldn’t approve anyway, the end. [ABC News]

 
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{ 334 comments }

nounverb911 July 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm

"And the teabagger Texan hero Rick Perry is whining that Obama won’t give billions in federal money to a new space program which Congress wouldn’t approve anyway, the end"
After Texas secedes they can pay for it themselves. (Chimpy McFlightsuit can go up first).

Radiotherapy® July 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

They can send him up in a jar.

nounverb911 July 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm

That's his brother.

widestanceroman July 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

As long as they bring him back in a bag, fine, whatevs.

JustPixelz July 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

And if Texans are just 10 times as good at spaceflight as they are at governing, Chimpy may get back safely.

starfanglednut July 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Mission Accomplished!

Rotundo_ July 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Since the chimpster's generous spirit got us broke in the first place, we should do to chimpster what he did to frogs: Stick a grenate in his ass and pull the pin. (a lady finger firecracker just didn't seem proportional to the slob.

WinterOuthouse July 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm

A remake of the Planet of the Apes starring Chimpy

Swampgas_Man July 21, 2011 at 6:15 pm

You're not bringing him back, are you?

Come here a minute July 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm

That's some cliff hanger ending! Maybe in the sequel, there are 'key parties' on Mars or whatever.

Fukui_sanYesOta July 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Total cost of ISS, including launches, a monumental testament to what humanity can achieve if working together: $100Bn

Blowing the everliving fuck out of barefoot brown kids in Iraq for no particular reason: $800Bn

Any questions?

OneDollarJuana July 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Yeah, but except for Morton Thiokol, the space program didn't enrich corrupt war profiteering corporations. And the shuttle never carried pallets of cash that mysteriously disappeared (into pockets).

horsedreamer_1 July 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm

& that, my friends, is why The A-Team is the best Iraq war movie (from an anti-war perspective).

donner_froh July 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm

pallets of cash that mysteriously disappeared (into pockets).

Big pockets. REAL big pockets.

weejee July 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

The Morton Thiokol o-ringer and the subsequent explosion of the Challenger was more an issue of management and deadlines and essentially trivial budget items trumping science & engineering. The I-35W collapse in Minneapolis showed this general biz skool – gooberment paradigm is still alive and well. Polysci trumps the living shit out of physical science.

Goonemeritus July 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm

So are you suggesting that it would be more cost effective to blowup brown people from space?

AJWjr. July 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm

You doubt that was St. Ronnie's intent all along with SDI?

user-of-owls July 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm

This is driving me crazy…do any of you fellow olds remember that notorious cartoon ad with a little girl being threatened by the evil empire but then protected by a cute little SDI bubble?? Arrgh!

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm

And Doonesbury's take on same: "Oops, one got through. Bye."

(can't direct-link, but there's a Bulletin of Atomic Scientists article on Google books that reproduces it; first result for searching "doonesbury "peace shield" 1985")

GOPCrusher July 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

It's the only way to be sure.

shrillharpy July 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I read recently that $100Bn or so was the same amount spent solely on A/C for teh troops fightin' overseas for our freedumbs.

riverside68 July 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm

It would appear to me that, given the norman private sector 50% profit rate on government programs, the Iraq program was 8 times as successful as the ISS program.

How much oil do we know about on the moon, also

Future likely profit opportunities of ISS = zero (Now we are going to be paying sweet government $$ to the Ruskies just to get it up.)
Future likely profit opportunities of Iraq = priceless (We are so not done yet, and coming soon: war with Iran and/or Pakistan don't ya know)

vulpes82 July 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I think "a monumental testament to what humanity can achieve if working together" is stretching it a bit for the ISS. If you compare what its plans were to what it has actually done, it's rather dispiriting. I mean, not that a space-born platform for scientific experiments is small potatoes or nothing, but it really isn't the apogee of human achievement.

Fukui_sanYesOta July 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

It's a piece of mega-engineering, a truly vast project.

Might end up being a useful staging point for manufacturing of extra-orbital manned spaceflight, which really would be quite something. Get the bits up there, put them together, and you'll have an extra-orbital spacecraft which doesn't need to reach LEO from the gravity well, with obvious benefits.

GOPCrusher July 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm

The biggest problem was that it went on for too long. And the fact that the next step wasn't in the pipeline, while the shuttle was being used. But that would have taken a Vision For The Future, and that died with the election of Ronnie Raygun.

Negropolis July 22, 2011 at 12:26 am

Honestly, if it isn't, than what is? Maybe the internet? Regardless, it ranks up there pretty far even if it doesn't top it.

Radiotherapy® July 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

And I thought moonwalking died with Michael Jackson.

Wilcoxyz July 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Does this mean all the diaper-clad astronauts will be out cruising the highways?

OneDollarJuana July 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Careful. Some of 'em are crazy-mad with jealousy.

dr_giraud July 22, 2011 at 9:31 am

The bean counters finally figured out that it would be cheaper to have an astronaut piss all over her- or himself for a week here on Earth than send them up into orbit to do it.

OneDollarJuana July 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Look, we went to the Moon, and guess what? We found dusty rocks, not oil. So what's the point?

inapewetrust July 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

however, as W pointed out, if you recall, the moon is rich in helium-3. we will get our energy from the moon!!!

GuyClinch July 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

And cheese. Delicious cheese!

Come here a minute July 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I don't know; it's like no cheese I've ever tasted.

flamingpdog July 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Green cheese by going to the moon: 100 billion dollars.

Green cheese by leaving it in the back of my fridge for 2 months: $3.99.

Give me the difference and I'll be a job creator.
*flies off to Bimini with a black briefcase chained to his wrist*

poncho_pilot July 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm
Biel_ze_Bubba July 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Gromit FTW.

ArmoredLibunatic July 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Hey, lunar regolith make an excellent portal conductor. That's gotta account for something, right?

GunToting[Redacted] July 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm

We recently finished 8 years of rule by a real-life Cave Johnson, so we can hope. Does this mean that Chimpy will die of moon-rock poisoning? (sits back to wait eagerly)

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I want my combustible lemons.

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 9:30 am

Cave Johnson here. As our data clearly shows, humans cannot be trusted. The solution? Robots!

(Oddly true.)

flamingpdog July 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Will we still have sweet, delicious Tang now that the space program is over?

mormos July 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm

and lethal fucking moondust that is sharper than glass and will shred everything it comes into contact with and give you cancer. Serious business!

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 9:34 am

Not exactly a lot of wind to take the edge off. You don't even get the air resistance to take the molten material from a highly energetic impact to distort the shard into a rounder, more aerodynamic shape whilst molten. Hell, without an atmosphere to interact with you don't even get proper surface tension.

Sharkey July 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

In space, no one can hear you cry.

HistoriCat July 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm

This is good news for John Boehner.

Swampgas_Man July 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm

This is funny as a fart in a space suit, as we kids used to say back when space suits existed.

teebob2000 July 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

PRIVATEYEz!!!!!!11

horsedreamer_1 July 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Go watching me?

CapeClod July 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

A program that had 40% of it's vehicles blow up or break apart on re-entry. Maybe we were a little hasty trying this novel idea of reusable space craft.

philpjfry July 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Hasty perhaps, but not wrong.

GuyClinch July 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

That's what my Pop said about reusable condoms.

Biel_ze_Bubba July 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I think 40% might be on a par with Magellan, Columbus, and their contemporaries. And the Wright brothers and their contemporaries. What's bigger today is the audience.

Sparky_McGruff July 21, 2011 at 9:30 pm

That's nothing. I have a co-worker that's totalled 60% of his vehicles, and he still has a license.

SorosBot July 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Space: The Final Frontier. These are the voyages – ah, this shit's kind of expensive; let's just pull a Palin and stay home.

Barb July 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Let's just pull a Palin and stay home……….
and watch her kids multiply like Tribbles.

MissusBarry July 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I think you found the next one's name.

SorosBot July 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

If it's a boy, they're the ones who all begin with Tr; for a girl Bajoran would be a good name.

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm

"Majel" sounds like a Palin name, now that you mention it.

Edit: E Plebnista! (It is a Yang worship word–you will not say it!)

horsedreamer_1 July 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Don't insult the name. It is a perfectly fine family. Tribble, that is.

horsedreamer_1 July 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Also: the trouble with Tribbles is I was too pathetic to ask for her number back in '91.

SayItWithWookies July 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I can see the moon from my house!

GOPCrusher July 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I can too. Are you my neighbor?

SayItWithWookies July 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Could be — do you live in a backwards nation stuffed to the brim with faith-based idiocy, in a state with a medeival and corrupt governor proudly slashing essential services to the old and poor?

GOPCrusher July 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Yes I do. So when are you going to mow your yard?

GunToting[Redacted] July 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Does it to you?

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 9:42 am

That doesn't make me a fucking astronaut!

genxr July 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I share a maritime border with space, so yes I know all about it.

That's why I stay home on the Internets pulling my Palin.

elviouslyqueer July 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Oh bless your heart. So does your Palin quit halfway through, as per?

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 9:43 am

That explains the masseuse. At least she gets to the ending…

Goonemeritus July 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I have got to agree with Rich this one time. Oh and while were at it can we bring back Battlestar Galactica?

Pres[EXTERMINATE!!] July 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Sure. Would you prefer the pre-prequel with homicidal monotheists, the prequel with CGI sets, or the Bryan Singer big-screen remake with puffy 70's hair and daggitts?

Swampgas_Man July 21, 2011 at 6:11 pm

The one w/ the sexay robots or the one w/ that guy from the Ponderosa?

SmutBoffin July 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

The only thing left to do is decommission human aspiration itself.

OneDollarJuana July 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Obama's working on it.

GuyClinch July 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I suspect human respiration will end first.

assistantatlas July 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Meh. That's easy. Be a poor, unemployed American for 100 weeks and voila, aspirations destroyed.

genxr July 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Poor? I know you have a TV you faker. Probably a stove too. Also.

poncho_pilot July 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm

but what if your handless and eyeless, huh?

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I was sad because I had no hat.

And then I met a man who had no head.

DaSandman July 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm

A sad, anti climaxtic ending.

A better one would have been to stuff the Republician congressional "leadership" into the old tin can, send it aloft and use it for nuclear target practice.

And we should have stuffed it full too. A right wing hate screamer or two would have been excellent.

How could you miss a target like Rushbo?

poncho_pilot July 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

sounds like a Transformers episode i watched as a kid.

PristineODummy July 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Patrick Farley doesn't think you could: http://e-sheep.sansara.net.ua/www.e-sheep.com/rus

nonbeliever7 July 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Wait, but what about Tang and Teflon and Santorum? Important things that were all invented due to The Right Stuff in space.

ProgressiveInga July 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm

And Major Tom, we can't forget "ground control to Major Tom"!

Pres[EXTERMINATE!!] July 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Without NASA, we wouldn't have had Bowie and Major Tom, and without Major Tom, we wouldn't have had Seu Jorge's Portuguese cover, ftw.

Tomar suas pílulas de proteína e colocar o seu capacete
Controle de terra para Major Tom
Contagem regressiva de início, os motores de
Controle de terra para Major Tom
Controle de terra para Major Tom

Verificação de ignição e do amor de Deus pode ser com você
E os jornais querem saber quem você veste camisas
Agora é hora de deixar a cápsula se você se atreve

Você realmente fez a grade
Dez, nove, oito, sete, seis, cinco, quatro, três, dois, mm, Lift-off
"Este é Tom Maior para Ground Control
Estou percorrendo a porta…."

GuyClinch July 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Not to mention the Velcro fasteners Mrs. Santorum tightens up her barbed strap-on dildo with for her nightly pegging.

PristineODummy July 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm

For HIS nightly pegging. Mrs. S is a good Catholic girl, and would never take it up the poop chute.

Gonna ram it, ram it, ram it, ram it up yer poop chute

Lyrics by courtesy of Frank Zappa

poncho_pilot July 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Santorum doesn't like Tang.

Biel_ze_Bubba July 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Tang? Teflon? Are we still on that "Namin' the Palin" schtick?

zhubajie July 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I always felt sorry for the astronauts 'cuz they had to drink that awful Tang stuff

Sue4466 July 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm

This is what happens when everyone stops drinking Tang.

Crank_Tango July 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Now that you mention it, Tang would make a great Palin name…

Sue4466 July 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Track's daughter?

ThundercatHo July 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm

It would have to be her middle name.

poncho_pilot July 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm

PWN could be her first.

Crank_Tango July 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm

U betcha!Sent from my iPhone

PristineODummy July 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Only for a girl. First name Poon, of course.

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 4:40 pm

This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps.

PristineODummy July 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Depends on whose Alps you're looking in, fella.

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 9:49 am

"I have seen the mountaintop, and it is good".

inapewetrust July 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm

the retired shuttles will be on display for visitors in florida, DC, LA and new york. this is very wasteful! couldn't we sell them for scrap?

Biel_ze_Bubba July 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm

At least in Florida, the copper will all be gone after a night or two.

CapeClod July 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Perhaps we could put a little money into a trans-dimensional, space traveling British phone box.

Goonemeritus July 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I’ll bring the Jammie Dodgers.

BaldarTFlagass July 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm

One of them teleportation devices would be pretty handy, although I don't much cotton to the idea of turning into Brundlefly or Jeff Goldblum.

SorosBot July 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

What about turning into Eric Stoltz?

James Michael Curley July 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Shotgun!

WhatTheHeck July 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm

This traveling phone booth emerged back in Jesus' day and found that there were dinosaurs back then. But the Daleks exterminated them.

BaldarTFlagass July 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K.

Poindexter718 July 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Sucky that we don't have a manned spaceflight capability for the time being, but this whole program was a giant dead-end. Even the name was uninspired: "Space shuttle?" I mean why not just call it the "Low-Earth Orbit Short Bus" or the "Winged Hoveround"?

Fukui_sanYesOta July 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

"Winged Hoveround" ftw!

What about Explodey Spacey Lard Rover?

MissTaken July 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm

"Space Station Wagon"?

AJWjr. July 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm
horsedreamer_1 July 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Ludicrous speed!

assistantatlas July 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Although…teabaggers might actually consent to some funding if we called it the Winged Hoverround…

Pres[EXTERMINATE!!] July 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I think this photo says it all about the age of the shuttle program. I mean, hell, I watched Columbia's first flight from my elementary school gym with the rest of the school.

Poindexter718 July 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Holy shit!
As a wee lad, I actually saw Tricky Dick speak at Johnson Space Center the day this picture was taken. My big sister rushed the stage afterward and shook his hand (we subsequently had her scanned for any listening devices he may have implanted).

GOPCrusher July 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm

We partied in the desert outside of Edwards AFB to watch Columbia land.
I woke up this AM to watch Atlantis land with tears in my eyes.
We are quickly sliding toward third-world nation status.

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

At least it's incredibly profitable for the job creators.

genxr July 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Our astronauts could live in a Space Van by the River.

greypanter July 22, 2011 at 10:50 am

And LEO ShortBus is a nice acronym.

Nostrildamus July 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm

The shuttle program was dumb, like sending a book through the US mail in a 50 pound steamer trunk. When people have to go, custom spacecraft are more efficient, but most space work s/b done by robots.

Given this, expect the GOP to push a new ultra-heavy manned space program – vehicles shaped like Ronald Reagan's ass with saddles for the astronauts to sit in while they jangle their spurs.

BornInATrailer July 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm

First Prussian Blue no longer sings folksey/hatesy music and now no shuttle. What a day.

horsedreamer_1 July 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm

They're kind of hot, too.

Wonder when Hef will get them for the magazine &/or his harem.

Biel_ze_Bubba July 22, 2011 at 3:48 am

A bit of wingnut weirdness I never knew about: http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/39/20

The idea that "medical marijuana" is what mellowed them out is pretty funny. The old lady must have shit a brick when that happened.

Negropolis July 22, 2011 at 7:25 am

I can't be the only one wondering if they have heavily pigmented boyfriends…or girlfriends. I'm sensing more to the story.

Sue4466 July 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Wait, Texas governor Perry wants more money for the space program? But he's a Tea Party Patriot. They're in favor of private enterprise and small government. Why would he . . . Oh, Houston is in Texas . . . now I get it.

elviouslyqueer July 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

See, THIS. I love how tea partiers bitch and moan about the huge fucking deficit until it comes down to cutting something in their neck of the woods. Then it becomes all "OBAMA HATES AMERICAN WORKERS AND TAKES AWAY THEIR JERBS." Fuckers, make up your fucking mind.

horsedreamer_1 July 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Well, how do you expect the Texas Miracle ™ to continue apace if they lose all that sweet, sweet aerospace money?

Johnson Space Center isn't a perpetual motion machine. Is it?

(What's NASA hiding?)

HistoriCat July 21, 2011 at 5:04 pm

What's NASA hiding?

-The car part which lets you get 200 mpg
-The real pictures of the moon (considered indecent since the women allow two of their three breasts to be exposed)
-Teleporters
-Flying cars
-Aliens (joint project with the military)

donner_froh July 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I just knew those flying cars had been developed but kept off the market by the Concrete Trust.

weejee July 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm

EQ it seems they are saying is something like "what's mine is mine, and what's your's is also mine," which makes sense in a douchenozzled teatard kinda way.

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 9:53 am

But, government spending doesn't create a single job!

OC_Surf_Serf July 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Damn…I can think of a few people we still need to sent into permanently space….

nounverb911 July 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Like Chimpy McDownfist?

fartknocker July 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Bristol Meth?

JustPixelz July 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

NASA's $18billion annual budget is about 1.8% of the total cost of the Iraq war.

We could fund NASA for 20 years by collecting unpaid income taxes.

OneDollarJuana July 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Except for that little matter of $14 trillion that we already owe.

MissTaken July 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Wut r u, SOSHULIST?!1!

anniegetyerfun July 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Needz moar dead brown people.

Biel_ze_Bubba July 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm

"…collecting unpaid income taxes."

Not from the Job* creators, you don't!!!!
_____________________
*(Given that the zillionaire class is busily scarfing up the half of everything that they don't already own, leaving middle class Americans to suffer the trials of Job, I think we need to change how we pronounce "Job creator". I'm gonna be capitalizing the "J" from now on.

JustPixelz July 21, 2011 at 10:18 pm

I haven't seen them lately, but there were those ads on TV with happy people talking about how they only paid a fraction of their taxes thanks to the so-and-so tax service. They were always well-to-do. And happy. It made me crazy. They reap the rewards of living in America and are proud that they dodged responsibility to their fellow citizens. I think that attitude is considered heroic by the TP'ers.

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 9:59 am

Why are these "Real Americans" proud of adding to the national debt, destroying America from within!?! Are they some kind of fifth columnists? Why don't they want to support the troops? Do they really agree with the Bearded man and his Muslim wife that they want to drown our country in a bathtub?

Inquiring minds want to know!

cmputrwizard July 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Agreed!

From now on the "righteous Job creators"

Radiotherapy® July 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Space exploration ends and we get Ken Layne back. What an awesome deal.

anniegetyerfun July 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm

The timing is MIGHTY suspicious, now that you mention it.

SayItWithWookies July 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

All I know is that if a Republican had been elected president instead of Obama, we wouldn't be honoring the final shuttle landing. We'd be looking for the pieces.

philpjfry July 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I have always been an advocate for the space program. In my opinion it was money well spent and gave this country something to be proud of when there wasn't much to be proud of. I will miss the shuttle program and anxiously await whatever is going to replace it. Just make it quick Barry.

GhostBuggy July 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Yes. We stand at an important crossroads here. The future is in our hands (well, the government's hands) to go all out or stay the fuck on this dumb rock. Despite the complaints, some in these comments, the shuttle worked and did what it was essentially designed to do.

Now we can leave that work that we've mastered to others and work on the next big thing: Mars, an asteroid or something else. Because let's not beat around the bush. the comparatively minute amount of money NASA consumes will NEVER go to the poor. It will NEVER go to health care. It's a dumb argument.

But it could go to Mars, a place that might, or might not, hold evidence of other (past) life in our universe. A thousand robot crawlers cannot, in all likelihood, unearth this evidence. Imagine the implications of standing on the frozen waters of Mars or Europa, and seeing if somehow that water once fed someone other than an Earthling. I don't know if Obama can imagine it, and he doesn't give me a lot of hope as far as science funding goes, but I hope he or somebody else in power recognizes the potentially momentous transition we find ourselves in right now.

Also, too.

tejanojim July 21, 2011 at 11:27 pm

GhostB – I'm a guy that believes the space program in general is the awesomest thing in the history of ever, and even five years ago I would have agreed with you.

But if you look at where we're at, as a country and as a global technological civilization with overpopulation, resource depletion and waste accumulation, I just don't think it's going to happen. Any spare cash we have, from now until whenever, is going to be used to defend the oil umbilical that keeps this horrorshow nation running.

If we do get to have another major national project, it had better be attacking climate change at both ends (adaption and mitigation). Save the Manhattan and the Great Barrier Reef for your grandkids, and you can talk to me about Mars. Deal?

GhostBuggy July 22, 2011 at 1:18 am

You're not wrong. I agree that money's going to be tied up in our bullshit oil-based economy for the next two centuries. If Obama, the Great Liberal Socialist Spendocrat, can't find it in his heart to lay out a workable plan for funding science in general and NASA in particular, well, it's sort of bleak.

But I still disagree on the "Earth now, Mars later" thinking. That's basically another way of saying "Mars never" (even if you specifically aren't saying that). For you it's climate change and the reefs; what will be for someone else once those are solved, if they ever are?

While I agree climate change should actually be our top priority, it doesn't have to be our only priority. We can do more than one thing at a time. And that's leaving aside what a financially strong NASA can do to combat climate change (or other problems that people often point to as reason we shouldn't spend money on space programs). Like I sort of implied in my other post, it's fine that the shuttle is being retired. Let some other agency deal with low Earth orbit for now. And we don't need to go to Mars or an asteroid or the moon next year. But should we not start taking steps in that direction, however small?

jus_wonderin July 22, 2011 at 9:40 am

Dude, you guys are debating tooooo reasonably. Where are the coarse invectives and irrational counterpoints?? Come on, the current political climate and discourse is much more entertaining. Get with the program. We, the people, want to hear some expletives and name calling!!!

tejanojim July 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I can go with that. Continue to fund Nasa, with their priorities, in order:

1. earth science (expand or at least preserve our climate monitoring satellites)
2. something big, exciting and long term (Mars or asteroids, your pick)
3. probing Uranus (for larfs)

as long as we all agree that the top national priority is climate change, I'm ok with it.

AJWjr. July 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

The fuck you want? We already got women's soccer, right?

Biel_ze_Bubba July 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Built up to world-class status, then out-done by the Japanese. Where have we seen this pattern before?

smokefilleddoommate July 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Not surprising for a country that can't seem to perfect an O-ring.

Radiotherapy® July 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

We are, however, good at O-face.

smokefilleddoommate July 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm

O-O-O!!

And O-shaped bodies..

horsedreamer_1 July 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm

That's why Kourtney loves her greens.

anniegetyerfun July 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Hey, hey. Children are a gift from God, so you can just take your birth control and shove it where the sun don't shine!

What? Oh, that's where they put it? Huh.

Radiotherapy® July 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm

The TSA is now in charge of all the "space junk."

WhatTheHeck July 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

… and talking about “junk,” is that a rocket in your pocket, or are you just …

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

I look forward to 22k mph "pat downs".

whiterabid July 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

When the private sector starts trade with the planet Vulcan, then will we have a government space program again, to protect our trade with civilizations in other parts of the galaxy.

genxr July 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Sounds suspiciously like a consumer credit protection bureau. If I want a Klingon payday loan, that's none of the gubmint's bidness!

Biel_ze_Bubba July 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Chase, BofA, and Citi already offer loans on Klingon terms… they're way ahead of the curve. (Or maybe it's Ferengi terms — someone help me out here.)

jus_wonderin July 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

To be clear, it was the Ferengi who sold packaged subprime loans to the Klingons who, in turn, calculated the derivatives and sold them back to us Earthers.

The terrestrial banking sector was merely the galactic vending machine.

OneYieldRegular July 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

To the moon, Alice!

Redhead July 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I'm sure Perry just wanted Obama to approve the funding so he could laugh and point, Nelson-style, when the Repugnicants in Congress voted it down.

Either that or he was hoping the leftover shuttles could be used instead of cars, to finally be large enough to carry a teatard, the teatard's spouse, and both their Hoverounds.

CrunchyKnee July 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Imagine the size of the TRUCKNUTZ on that thing!?

genxr July 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm

As we tragically learned in Texas, TruckNutz of that size cause severe overheating on reentry.

Biel_ze_Bubba July 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Perry would take the Federal pork, then claim the jobs were created by Texas' bass-ackwards Republiclown policies.

Monsieur_Grumpe July 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

America needs a new hobby. Blowing up3rd world countries and strapping astronauts to barely controlled explosives is getting old. How about wiping out the human race without fucking up the planet or a really good low calorie beer?

BaldarTFlagass July 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

As a kid, I was all into the space program. I think that the drastic falling off of the public's interest in it after the first few moon landings, when the jingling of the shiny keys stopped being quite so interesting, was one of the first manifestations in this country of the whole bread and circuses/short attention span thing, which led directly to Survivor, American Idol, and Sarah Palin.

GuyClinch July 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Sorry, what? I got distracted.

anniegetyerfun July 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I actually began loathing the space program when my dad started forcing us to get up early to watch the launches. One time we were on vacation in Florida, and he got us up at 4AM to watch the launch from our hotel, which was 20-odd miles away. Sure, you could see the light and stuff, but it was fucking 4 fucking AM.

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 10:09 am

Bah. At 4 AM you've just finished peaking and then DJ Shuttle just BLASTS OFF! Kicking out some major bass and putting on a hell of a light show. Just look at that finale! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVig22pCVrc

GOPCrusher July 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm

tl;dr

CrunchyKnee July 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Barry will give tax breaks to some random "American" (multi-national) corporation to outsource space jobs to Chindiastan. It is the way forward, y'all. USA USA US…ah fuck it.

cmputrwizard July 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I believe you have discovered the secret to the Recovery!

Kudos!!!!

TanzbodenKoenig July 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm

What if we just tell the Teahidis that space is just chock full of new and varied alien minorities and for them to subjugate and disenfranchise? That ought to get their gander up…

cmputrwizard July 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm

"dander"

Biel_ze_Bubba July 21, 2011 at 9:30 pm

One of the best reasons to hope we find signs of intelligent life out there, is the resulting epidemic of exploding heads in the right-wing religious wacko community. The Mormons will be antsy to send astronauts in white shirts (raising doubts among the aliens over whether they've discovered an intelligent species), but the rest of 'em will die of terminal cognitive dissonance.

themcwow July 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm

anal leakage now.

KommunistKitty July 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PRIME DIRECTIVE?

SorosBot July 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Eh, screw the Prime Directive; any rule that tells a captain he should allow a crew member's child to be executed by a bunch of scantily-clad hedonists for accidentally trampling on some plants just because of the planet's wacky laws isn't a good rule, even if the kid was an annoying know-it-all git who you'd kind of like to see get killed.

BaldarTFlagass July 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I don't remember that episode, but it would have been nice to see that annoying Wesley Crusher get zapped.

genxr July 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm

It was worth it to see Wil Wheaton crush Sheldon at both magic cards and bowling.

SorosBot July 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Then you're lucky; it was Justice, a first season episode that was dire even by s1 standards; about the only saving grace was the skin on all the guest extras. Only the unintentional racism of The Naked Now prevents it from being the worst episode of that mostly horrid season.

poncho_pilot July 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

i just watched the first couple of episodes the other night. first time since i was a child when they originally aired. i kept looking over at my wife and saying, "just remember, this show gets much better."

LettucePrey July 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm

In what respect, Charlie?

HistoriCat July 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm

For some reason I find your avatar very distracting.

poncho_pilot July 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

are you on your way to the ATM?

LettucePrey July 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm

That'll be $1,000, HistoriCat. Poncho_pilot can't watch, though, or he has to pay $100.

LiveToServeYa July 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm

It was replaced by the Prime Rate Directive. Or Prime Rib Directive. We have a lot at steak, after all.

smashedinhat July 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Now that they're closer to eliminating the meatlink entirely the only interest in space will be military. A sad end, until private enterprise can conquer near earth orbit and set up the ultimate gated community! Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!.

poncho_pilot July 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm

welcome to Richard Branson's Virgin Outer Space! servant entrance is in the rear.

cmputrwizard July 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm

So that's it!

Duh.

Shoulda known they'd also have an answer to the housing crisis in this seeming mindless penny-pinching.

mavenmaven July 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Hey, his randy midwestern pal was also Jewish. The outrageous misrepresentation in that program was that of all people, their doctor wasn't Jewish.
Because they let NASA be run by all those military southerner types and not Jews, that's why it failed today. If they had Jews running it, there would be Chinese restaurants in space by now.

horsedreamer_1 July 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

In the future, we will all be fat fetishists, also.

(Seriously. Check Nimoy's photography work.)

genxr July 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Now let's all sing "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins"

poncho_pilot July 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm
PubOption July 21, 2011 at 4:40 pm

That was a randy Canadian – Jewish pal, pretending to be from the Midwest. Unless Montreal has moved.

James Michael Curley July 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm

We need disposable shuttle craft and disposable astronoughts; like the current pack of tea party candidates.

DashboardBuddha July 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

We could wrap them tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil and expose them to heat and vacuum. I don't know what we'll learn, but it would be fun.

fartknocker July 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm

No snark. I'm going to Ellington Field tomorrow in Houston with a friend who is a contractor with NASA (and about to be unemployed) to see the astronauts arrive. When I asked her about losing her job, she's not happy about it but told me she feels honored and privileged to serve the manned space program. We're hoping one of the astronaut's will sign the mission patch she received for working at NASA during this and other flights.

And fuck R-shitstain Rick Perry.

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 10:21 am

Ah, if only there were a "Credit Default Swap" lapel pin. Let's see them be proud to wear THAT out to dinner.

WhatTheHeck July 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm

It is high time we discovered a planet we can rape and plunder. Oh wait. Been there. Done that.

BaldarTFlagass July 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Don't you mean "Still there"?

BaldarTFlagass July 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Well, how the hell am I going to become a colonist on LV-426 now?

poncho_pilot July 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm

game over, man.

horsedreamer_1 July 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

It's a day like today, more than any day, when Roger Moore needs to say let it be.

GOPCrusher July 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Moonraker=Worst. Bond. Movie. Evah.

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I, for one, have definitely missed Ken's unique viewpoint on the contemporary American scene. For a while there, for instance, I thought these goddamned antidepressants were working. I think I'll go drive at high speed into a bridge abutment now.

BaldarTFlagass July 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Shotgun!

weejee July 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm

BTF, you wanna ride shotgun for a high speed crash into an abutment? I think changing dentists might be a better solution.

PuckStopsHere July 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I am amazed that as of a week ago Friday, I am no longer a citizen of a country that can put a man in space. (Sorry, girls. That's what we used to call it). This is the first time this is a true statement since Alan Sheppard's flight in May, 1961 when I was a little boy. It was when JFK was president. It was when we believed, as a people, that our country could do anything. I have borne witness to the slow, total erosion of our powers as a nation in my lifetime. In the last 30 years, really. Thanks, President Reagan!

BaldarTFlagass July 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm

I remember my old man taking me to Kubrick's "2001" at the old-timey fancy theater in DC when it first came out. I was all "Man it's gonna be so cool when I'm 42, Pan Am shuttles to the fucking moon!" Didn't understand the big fetus at the time, though. Anyway, so much for my youthful idealism.

GOPCrusher July 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I'm surprised they didn't bring the shuttle down on July 20th to commemorate America's greatest achievement.

HistoriCat July 21, 2011 at 7:13 pm

And just a couple years ago we had the hoopla from the 40th anniversary. Where were you for the landing?

PuckStopsHere July 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Family room watching Cronkite of course. In beautiful black and white. Which didn't matter since they only had a b&w camera on the moon. I was 12.

HistoriCat July 21, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I wish I could have experience it as it happened – that would have been great.

Biel_ze_Bubba July 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm

You won't have to fret for long: http://www.spacex.com/

Heaving stuff into orbit is a profitable business, and businesses are itching to do it. Commercial launches won't have everyone waving the flag and singing the national anthem, but I think it's about time we got past that.

NASA will continue to work on the hard stuff, like getting men to Mars. That's going to be one very cool mission… and we'll probably break out the flags again.

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 10:33 am

Men are too heavy. So much of the launch weight goes to Air, water, food, and sending poo into space. I want clouds of robots on a fat data pipe back to earth first. Not Spirit and Opportunity, but MarsProbeD1 – MarsProbeD256 on a single flight. Then V2 robots a year later, the the construction bots setting up elementary telemetry and com links, then the construction bots with 3d printers for structure assembly, then a fabrication plant to build life support structures, a few supply drops, and THEN a manned mission.

It is waaaaay easier to move data from Earth to Mars (at the speed of light even) than these squishy whiny sacks of poo we call human bodies.

MissTaken July 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

It is funny that when the Shuttle program was just beginning people would think you were a complete nutter if you said "you know, when this program is over we will be sending our hot-blooded American astronauts to space in Soviet Russia space vehicles"

OneDollarJuana July 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

We send our hot-blooded American billionaires up in them, too.

genxr July 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Some of whom are Russian.

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Where are your nuclear wessels?

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 10:37 am

In my office filled with C++ programmers, the news that Charles Simonyi had been shot into space was met with great elation.

horsedreamer_1 July 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm

But not our pop stars.

Sorry, Lance Bass!

BaldarTFlagass July 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

"Shoot, man, we've been on the moon since the Fifties!"

I think it's high time I watch Slacker again.

orygoon July 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I for one am happy to see that it landed without any more crashes. The probability of A crash was supposed to be one in ten thousand flights or so. Those calculations weren't worth all the blackboards they had been scratched on–or even a bushel of chalkdust.

VinnyThePooh July 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm

devil-eared Jewish scientist and his randy midwestern pal, who liked to get it on with colored girls … green colored girls
Don't forget the commie Helmsman and the drunk in Engineering.

I believe Kirk had a kinky sex act called the Kobayashi Maru. Something about intruding the Neutral Zone. *mystified expression*

voodooeconomics July 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm

he used that on Uhuru many times and she cried for the Kobayashi after his retirement.

elviouslyqueer July 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm

And let's not leave out the swashbuckling sodomizer Orientalist and the epically-short skirted Negress.

cmputrwizard July 21, 2011 at 8:58 pm

My favorite!

Thanks for reminding me of what I've been missing.

Pres[EXTERMINATE!!] July 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Well, warp drive should only be 53 years away by this point, if we follow the Star Trek calendar. And at that point the devil-eared Jewish scientists will pay us a visit.

(That bit about Spock and Kirk surely is among the top 10 best Ken Layne lines ever.)

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Oh, boy! Aren't we running a bit late on the Eugenics Wars, though?

GhostBuggy July 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Not to mention World War III. Although, we're actually right on course for that one, by the looks of things.

HistoriCat July 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm

We're working on it! These things take time you know.

ThundercatHo July 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Yeah, except that we have to have a global nukular war that almost destroys the human race first.

vulpes82 July 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Post-Atomic Horror, here we come!

DashboardBuddha July 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Why did they land at night?! What have they got to hide? Teabaggers want to know!

OneDollarJuana July 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm

It was loaded with Thai stick and Oaxacan bud.

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

That would explain the view @ 6:55

Biel_ze_Bubba July 22, 2011 at 4:14 am

Christ … how high is Arizona gonna have to make that fucking wall??

Negropolis July 22, 2011 at 7:27 am

I've always wondered why they want to build a wall, when they already have the beginnings of a bad-assed moat (i.e. the Grand Canyon)….

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 10:39 am

Set phasers to "legal".

ArmoredLibunatic July 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Does this mean we'll be investing more in mass drivers/space guns? Because that would kick all kinds of ass.

HistoriCat July 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm

If by "mass drivers/space guns" you mean "tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%" then yes.

SorosBot July 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm

The NRA would like to remind you that the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to carry a concealed mass driver/space gun into an elementary school.

Biel_ze_Bubba July 22, 2011 at 4:15 am

No matter how psychotic or demented you are.

poncho_pilot July 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm

is a "mass driver" some kind-a-fancy, technical term for a hoveround?

ArmoredLibunatic July 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Not yet.

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 10:43 am

Sir Isaac Newton is the Deadliest SOB in space! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a593Ak4l9w

LettucePrey July 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Hey, when the last space shuttle gets back, wouldn't it be hilarious if we were all dressed as apes?

(No, seriously, we need to all get our shit together and do that.)

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I hate every ape I see
from chimpan-A to chimpan-Z
You'll never make a monkey out of meeeee!

genxr July 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Ooh, help me Dr. Zaius!

ThundercatHo July 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Best practical joke ever! I've got horses for whoever wants to be the gorilla cavalry.

RodneyBadger July 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm

It sucks that we will never explore outerspace again, but look on the bright side, at least we won't have to deal with the Necromorphs.

ArmoredLibunatic July 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I dunno, my crowbar and I were kinda looking forward to that.

voodooeconomics July 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm

But, but i wanted a real Star Trek. why can't i have it.

Next thing we know some bug eyed Chinese will be riding along The Happy Family Takeout Space Probe while we go back to growing corn.

BaldarTFlagass July 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Don't much matter, we'll be getting a visit from the Borg quite soon.

DashboardBuddha July 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm

they are already here and their spaceship is a huge Rascal.

weejee July 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

They would be the Koch Bros right?

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

The Kochs care not for assimilation. They're more about the dissimulation.

WinterOuthouse July 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm

The problem was pussy. No sexytime in space no space travel. Period

LiveToServeYa July 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Well, the condoms would burst all the time. Messy.

ArmoredLibunatic July 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm

To be honest, space suits are some of the least sexy garments you can imagine. It's one of the uncomfortable truths of space: astronauts wear diapers.

ThundercatHo July 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm

2nd least sexy garment is fishing waders, except to my husband who thinks they are hawt. Freak.

ttommyunger July 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Pussy used to rule the World; now it seems money is the prime motivator. Not a good sign.

voodooeconomics July 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Plans for a meeting with an Alien creature have been postponed for lack of funds. Perhaps a mining company could sponsor a freighter to the Outer Worlds. Take the coal people with them.

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm

NO KILL I

Biel_ze_Bubba July 22, 2011 at 4:20 am

Are you kidding? They'll come back towing a forty-trillion-ton moonlet made of pure carbon, wanting to burn the whole fucking lot of it in Chinese power plants.

ThundercatHo July 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Star Trek, cheesy?! How dare you, sir. Sacrilege! Personally, I'd gladly paint myself green to have some sexy time with those two space/time trippin' hotties and don't even get me started on Capt. Picard. Whoo, is my air conditioning failing here or what?

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 10:47 am

Sounds like someone likes a litttle bald head.

Rotundo_ July 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm

So our space program is down to "Space Tourism" from Richard Branson, which is just a quick skim up to microgravity and then back down for a few hundred grand. The good thing about this is that rich arrogant fucks who have no good reason to do so will pay up for this honor. Since the only value of it will be bragging rights, there won't be a lot of tears shed when they splatter all over the desert on re-entry. It will thin the wealthy herd down as well. Sorta like airplanes and balloons have…

Biel_ze_Bubba July 22, 2011 at 4:22 am

Works for me, so long as Branson does that Job creatin' thing with most of the money.

gorenfeld July 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Sad that a nation that once aspired to send Space Camp counselors into the solar system now has no bigger dream than droning imaginary hijackers forever.

Guppy06 July 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Space exploration will never get funding from a country that has to "teach the debate" about a round earth.

weejee July 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Heliocentrism is the new infidel.

Guppy06 July 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I hear they're building a new Geocentric Fun Park in Kentucky. About 90 % of the funding will be coming from the state.

weejee July 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

The gravity of it all. They think Kepler was just running around in circles, well ellipses really but what the hey.

Biel_ze_Bubba July 22, 2011 at 4:31 am

"The world also shall be stable, that it be not moved."
Chronicles 16:30

End of discussion.

NorbertsRevenge July 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm

e pur si muove

elviouslyqueer July 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Totally OT, but speaking of scantily clad aliens, barbarians glitterbomb Marcus's clinic.

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Oh, yeah.

Next, they're heading to Eden, yeah, brother.

GOPCrusher July 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I call bullshit, that one guy was wearing socks AND sandals.

elviouslyqueer July 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm

How barbaric!

Biel_ze_Bubba July 22, 2011 at 4:33 am

Can they revoke his gayness for that?

ThundercatHo July 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Fab.U.Lous!

guangho July 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm

"because of a canceled teevee show from the ’60s, about a devil-eared Jewish scientist and his randy midwestern pal, who liked to get it on with colored girls … green colored girls." Bibi?

Beetagger July 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Welcome back Ken. Your level of cynicism and despair is a beacon to all of us huddled, suicidal earthlings.

Yours truly, a diabetic, unemployed middle aged white guy.

LiveToServeYa July 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Space. Meh. We'd just fuck it up, somehow. Admittedly, it'd take a fantastic effort to screw the cosmos so utterly. But then … "we choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." So, I guess the Space Rape is in good hands with the capitalists. Someday, people will complain about space travel like they complain about air travel: lousy meals made of paste and how the baggage handlers at the Titan spaceport just love exposing your belongings to hard vacuum.

AJWjr. July 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Time to look into those other things, I reckon.

Biel_ze_Bubba July 22, 2011 at 4:36 am

The $28,000 fee for extra bags is bound to piss some people off.

vulpes82 July 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Oh, hi there, Ken! It's so great you're here: my existential despair had almost dissipated!

On a more serious note, while it's sad to see the space shuttle program come to an end, even as a big old space nerd I'm really not as sad about it as a lot of people. The shuttle program has never really lived up to its potential, and some argue that it has actually itself kept back the space program.

Oh, and lastly, we're all NERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDS!

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Set phasers on "ridicule."

elviouslyqueer July 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Dear downfister, you are either a cowardly pedantic pussyfart or Allan West. Pick your poison, son.

Steverino247 July 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm

No bucks. No Buck Rogers.

Having lived long enough to see both ends of our manned space program, I'm very sad it's over. I was looking at pictures of Chinese engineering marvels the other day and thought, "Hey, we used to be able to do shit like that." China has finally overcome the earlier mistake of getting rid of the Mandarins who kept the country from falling apart. America is now in the process of repeating their error of getting rid of teachers, social workers, engineers and returning to praising invisible spooks and fearing science.

AJWjr. July 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Guess I'll never get to the Big Space Fuck after all…

fuflans July 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm

but we still get spacepacs right?

ttommyunger July 21, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I remember when "l984" was a futuristic novel. "2001, A Space Odyssey". All this neat space stuff was supposed to happen to expand our Human Horizons. Looks like we got all distracted by killing other Tribes and taking their stuff. …We are so fucked, and rightly so.

genxr July 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Oh well. We'll always have space invaders. Pew! Pew!

BTWBFDIMHO July 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

What do you mean no more space travel? Not even from Marble Hill to Westchester County?

snoopyfan2010 July 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I wonder how many of the people crying about the end of the shuttle program ever actully watched the launches or can name more than just one of the shuttles.

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour. (You don't bait a nerd like that)

BarackMyWorld July 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Rick Perry said WHAT?!?!?

Come here a minute July 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Where's my goddamn jetpack, man?

Pres[EXTERMINATE!!] July 21, 2011 at 8:32 pm

The next nation with a serious manned space program will not be the US. It will be among the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China – the fastest-growing economies in the world. OK, Russia already has one, and China's sent a couple of taikonauts up as well. Just watch what these countries do over the next 20 years while US Americans get diabetic on HFCS. But hey, at least we have a vibrant pr0n industry. Oh yeah, and none of these countries are actively dismantling their public education systems.

BaldarTFlagass July 21, 2011 at 10:10 pm

how bout dat, another Ken post. Dude has retired more times than the fucking Who.

lulzmonger July 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm

This is truly dire news.

Never before has mankind had more need to mount an Ark B Program so that we can finally start a colony on the newly-discovered planet Sol.

Negropolis July 22, 2011 at 12:44 am

I liked that the American government sent people into space. I like that we could collectively take credit for such a feat. I rue the day when we'll have to see the toothy visage of eccentric British billionaire Richard Branson plastered with a shit-eating grin pushing a button in the wilds of New Mexico to send the likes of Paris Hilton and other "job creators" into space as if it's some common amusement park ride.

Yeah, I'm more pissed than a blue tongued skink on a hot sidewalk. Wanna fight about it?

Fukui_sanYesOta July 22, 2011 at 1:54 am

Hell, mate, I'm British and I'm pissed off that the USA doesn't have a manned space program. As a young scientifically-minded guy I was in awe of what the USA could achieve. When I was 15 and my school was doing some kind of half-arsed summer work experience program, I applied to NASA – got turned down for not being American.

NASA is still doing amazing things. New Horizons is still lumbering towards Pluto, Opportunity is still gadding around on Mars years after the mission was supposed to end, and the James Webb Space Telescope should launch around 2017 (albeit on ESA's Ariane 5). It's simply that these things don't capture the public's imagination in the same way that manned spaceflight does.

I'll be right alongside you vomiting when that beardy cunt Branson pretends to be a normal guy as his latest cash-cow takes worthless fuckballs out of the atmosphere.

Negropolis July 22, 2011 at 7:22 am

Yeah, NASA does great things and will continue to do so, but the Shuttle was a great marquee for the agency. It may not have been the most practical project, but damn if it wasn't a pretty trophy.

BTW, I can never quite put my finger on what bothers me about Branson, so much. I mean, I don't think he's evil, but he feels so phoney to me.

Mike Licht July 22, 2011 at 11:12 pm

1970s? No way. Atlantis is a brand-new 1985-model Space Shuttle. You know, vinyl top, stereo casette player, cruise control. One boss ride.

Infrogmation July 23, 2011 at 9:35 pm

So dies JFK's noble dream of keeping us out of unnecessary wars by bribing the Military-Industrial Complex with piles of contracts for expensive rockets, and LBJ's noble dream of keeping the fat cats obese and happy by letting them have both at the same time.

Doktor Zoom July 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Honestly, considering how badly people drive in two dimensions, do we want flying cars?

ThundercatHo July 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Exactly.

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

And then when she's a cougar, she'll have throngs of fanboys waiting to get Pwn'd.

Swampgas_Man July 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I'll settle for jetpacks.

PristineODummy July 21, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Not much of a man, then, was he?

rambone July 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Sarah Palin has a penis?

bagofmice July 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

In what respect, Charlie?

user-of-owls July 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm

But what, or better yet, where the fuck was that ad?!?!

Doktor Zoom July 22, 2011 at 12:49 am

Looks like the ad itself has been DMCA'd off the web; text of the audio from this article:

Danny Graham’s High Frontier organization made a television commercial that showed a child’s drawing of a house and a family, and the rainbow “Peace Shield” that would protect them. The audio accompanying the cartoon, spoken by a child, said: “I asked my daddy what this Star Wars stuff is all about. He said that right now we can’t protect ourselves from nuclear weapons, and that’s why the President wants to build a Peace Shield. It would stop missiles in outer space so they couldn’t hit our house. Then, nobody could win a war. And if nobody could win a war, there’s no reason to start one. My daddy’s smart.”

And then there's this Time article about third-party pro-and anti-SDI ads.

user-of-owls July 22, 2011 at 12:54 am

That's it! Aw, fuck…I cannot believe this thing could be disappeared down the memory hole! Fucking fuckity fucks…if they were willing to pull the world to the brink of fucking thermonuclear war over this thing, you might think they'd have they tiniest of cojones to at least be proud of what they did. Fucking cuntfucks. Just like they were back then.

Doktor Zoom July 22, 2011 at 1:06 am

Be of good cheer, Owls–it's probably out there in some documentary or other. Maybe.

On the upside, if I hadn't gone looking for it, I never would have found this decision dismissing Lucasfilm's suit against High Frontier Foundation for misuse of "Star Wars"

Biel_ze_Bubba July 22, 2011 at 4:09 am

It was. My grandmother, who was about 80 at the time (she grew up with horses and buggies on the roads), was sitting there quietly, and suddenly asked, "Wait a minute … are they really on the moon?" We all assured her that this was the news (that's Walter Cronkite, after all), and yes, a man was standing on the moon at that very moment.

She sat there for a moment, and said, "Well, I'll be damned!"

CapeClod July 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

The vehicles themselves were OK, albeit just as expensive as sending them up the old way. The problem was the pressure to launch and a culture of complacency that set in (Foam always hits the shuttle. It can't cause any damage, it's foam.) It just didn't seem like the Planet Express model was the best one to work with.

tejanojim July 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Sorry, JW. Let me see…

GhostBuggy is a typical tax and spend libunatic, who only wants to impose Creeping Space Sharia on the known universe. (hey, if there can be Jews In Space, there can be muslins, right?)

Oh, and when I said "Save the Manhattan", everyone knows I meant the densely populated island, not the mixed drink. Right?

GhostBuggy July 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Works for me. Boy, now we're getting somewhere. What issue should we solve next? Corporate control of the news? Ha ha, just kidding, that will never go away.

GhostBuggy July 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I will start a band, and I will name it Creeping Space Sharia.

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