Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Attention NASA

It's cool that you're sending a probe to Pluto (sorry about the delays), and the specifics of the program are really, really astonishing. I mean, nine hours to the moon--the friggin' moon! It took about three days for the Apollo crews to travel the same distance. Just over a year to Jupiter? I mean, it's just over 525 million miles from the Earth to Jupiter right now.

Wow. That's speedy. So speedy, in fact, that it will only take the probe nine and a half years to cover the three-plus billion miles from Earth to Pluto. Amazing.

So why would you give such a neat piece of equipment such a crummy name? New Horizons?

Christ! That sounds like a new line of minivans.

Space probes have traditionally had cool names--Pioneer, Voyager, Mariner, Viking, Galileo--what's the problem? Couldn't just a little of the 700 million bucks that paid for this damn thing go towards getting a sweet name? Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. The recent trend in space-probe-naming has been awful. Pathfinder? Clementine? Spirit? Opportunity? Opportunity? What dipshit came up with that one?

There are plenty of cool names left in the world. Try, would you?

I shouldn't bitch too much. Given the mission's object of study, and the proximity of Cape Canaveral to the Most Evil Place On Earth, I should be happy that they didn't give it some cutesy-ass, disgusting, Mickey-related name.

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