Sources at the Pentagon, or a Five Guys near the White House, say humans are growing less interested in the planet Earth and “feeling out” accommodations on stars, suns, moons and giant pieces of charcuterie.
More than 100,000 visitors are expected to descend on Florida’s Space Coast this month to witness the uncrewed Artemis I mission, part of NASA’s effort to put humans back on the moon within this decade. That’s fewer tourists than in our storied space shuttle era, but it’s still high. The attention is fantastic for Florida, a state that should be known more for interplanetary prowess and less for $14 Mickey Mouse balloons and governors using “RoboCop 2″ as a policy lodestar.
Artemis has three takeoff opportunities on Aug. 29, Sept. 2 and Sept. 5. Hotels are sold out, including a Titusville Courtyard by Marriott with a rooftop Space Bar and cocktail called “Skyrockets in Flight” (peeewww). “We’re the only beach that doubles as a launch pad,” Space Coast Office of Tourism’s executive director Peter Cranis told The Associated Press. We here on the west coast say, hast thou not been to Shephard’s on Clearwater Beach during Sunday Rum Day?
Anyway, this moonward journey is overdue. Elon Musk, who has been distracted bearing copious innocent children, has promised Mars lodging. Jeff Bezos wants to house humans in floating moon cylinders, which sounds extreme until you ponder how the smaller Mickey Mouse ears balloon gets inside the bigger clear balloon.
Buzz is high for space colonies. When’s the last time you saw anyone who wants to be here? Like, really, in their heart of hearts? We are busy guzzling Mountain Dew Code Red from plastic bottles, destroying what’s left of our fragile social systems, checking our worsening hurricane evacuation zones and proclaiming, “Welp, time to throw these plastic straws into the turtle sanctuary!”
Earth was OK for a while, but we did too much to it, like escalating plastic surgery. A little smoothing here, sure, some jaw definition there. Before we knew it, Earth’s top lip was bigger than its bottom lip, Earth had no buccal fat pads and Earth could no longer move its forehead.
Space, dudes! Space is where it’s at. This year is full of intergalactic potential. Take the James Webb Space Telescope, a dreadful device that sees into the past 13 billion light-years and reveals galaxies, nebulas, supermassive black holes and other casual terrors. In July, a French physicist tweeted what he called a “Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years from us.” Poetically, he added, “A new world is revealed day after day.”
Thousands liked the tweet before the scientist revealed the image was a slice of chorizo. That’s how hungry people are for options. We’re ready to homestead upon pats of cured pork.
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So, go on, tourists. Order that Deep Space Blackhole Chocolate Layer Cake at the Courtyard (that’s real) and call out of work for days when the launch inevitably gets scrapped because Florida weather doesn’t care. Boldly go, mentally, where man really needs to go again.
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