Thursday, February 14, 2008

Britain may send astronauts to the Moon, Mars and beyond

Britain could send astronauts into space, the Government said yesterday.

For decades the UK has focused on unmanned missions and developing robotic technology.

But Science Minister Ian Pearson said the world was "on the cusp of a wave of new space exploration" and Britain had to take full advantage.

"What we want to do is review the situation to make sure the UK does not get left behind," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

(Hat tip to the indefatigable Nick Redfern.)


white punks in orbit said...

British astronauts in space? Well, I suppose it could happen--someday.

I can see it now--Earl Grey tea and scones at 16:00 UT (4 pm -- afternoon "high tea" for you non-anglophile earthlings).

Speaking of high teas, I wonder when and who will be the first to smoke reefer in space, if it hasn't happened already?

Getting high on high, as it were... Ha! 8^}

Mac said...

I'll drop everything for a shot at space exploration -- but I'll be needing an espresso machine...

dad2059 said...

My espresso days are over ( made a good chaser for reds back in the day), and although I'm no Brit, I wouldn't mind getting "high on high before I die".

self-amusing rolly-polly space mountaineer said...

I once smoked hash in the late 80's inside the starry darkness of Disneyland's "Space Mountain" while zooming around on their indoor roller coaster.

I sat in the last car, so the pungent smoke would get swept behind me, and only lit up mi pipa as we got rolling with a very nice lurch--and with all the wild ride, and surprising ups , downs, and sideways (blind as a bat) random jaunts, it wasn't easy keeping the pipe lit...but I managed.

My younger brother, sitting next to me, was both bemused and perturbed for some suburban paranoic reason. Let out an amused gasp of surprised derision. Go figure...

I still wonder if any of my fellow "Space Mountain" ground-based astronauts sitting in the cars in front of me ever caught, they might have been spaced by the ride, as no one said or did anything, other than go, "YAY!" when we stopped, back at the hokey "space station" departure and return platform. Pretty nutty-fun little adventure by the end, when I was throughly drymouth roasted.

That's probably as close as I'll ever get to suborbital imbibing of a post prandial puff of the poteet pipe in semi-weightlessness. Why, you know, that indoor spaced mountain wasn't half bad, and..."it was full of [artificial] stars" and a great planetarium-style virtual visual trip thru the Disney-esque happy mouse-infested solar system. Something wonderful...and weird!

Next: either the Haunted Mansion or Cinderella's [concrete] Castle! Hup! I'll bring the buttered scones for tea, 'cause I'm a lumberjack space cowboy and I'm OK! (Python fans sing along, if desired) 8^}

Hmmm...can you imagine flying on SpaceShip Two via Branson's Virgin Galactic into suborbit on the blast of a _real_ rocket and hitting some DMT as you converse politely with extra-corporeal translucent meta-beings while weightless, with a blunt chaser, and a shaken, not stirred, vodka marstoonie with a dram of Chivas, please, floating on the rocks in a matched pair of conjoined spheroidal transparent flaskettes while peering out the porthole for those few minutes you're in literally highest suborbit and contemplating the future of humanity and the earth with discarnate machine elves made of orangey-yellow plasma vortices or some such gestalt mindblowing vision of destiny and the infinite while "digitally amusing" the latest Bond girl movie starlet--and then grunting out, as your fed head cartwheels out beyond gonadal, kaleidoscopic control, and the Kundalini breakdown unfolds in burning waves up your gravity freed draft bareass backside as you and your exotic companion emulate a backward space cowboy docking maneuver while shouting out the immortal words, "Bond! James Bond! Shaken _and_ stirrrred, thank you velly much...!?! This invocative phrase should be alternated every 15 seconds with gruff, repeated screams of "Elvis...has LEFT the building! Talk about yer cosmic consciousness....Yow! That'll enlighten you, yah mon.

The spacebabe's name should be Alice, as you will need to say, "To the Moon, Alice!" whilst checking your pocket watch and descending into the carnal cafe wonderland down the furry rabbit hole so as to break on through to the other side to then hopefully keep your oncoming appointment (mustn't be late!) to meet and greet the Red Queen, as she yells out "Off with his head!" at you and the Mad Hatter flying the rocketship, as you insist on feeding your head until it transmutates into the meatspace equivalent of a fusion reactor. What the dormouse said!!!

Afterward, as you descend from the apex of your climb of Mt. Fuji, you are found muttering, in quiet gasps, over and over, "Ooooh, boy--the Eagle has _definitely_ landed! T-T-Tora! Tora! Tora! Tranquility base here..." *^p

Ahem. It ...could happen. In my dreams! [sheesh--sorry about that, and the slightly hallucinatory diversion on the exoterrific, disoriented express.]

I can...sometimes. 8^} Usually takes a bit more than the usual cuppa of java to get there, though.

Up, up, and away, Green Lantern! Urggh...uh, say, where'd I put my power ring, anyway? Oh, yeah? SHstmaADD-up! [Super Hero Short Term Memory and Attention Deficit Disorder, 'natch] I gotcher power ring, right here, buddy! Ooomph.

And hey! Don't forget to bring the Italian expresso blue mountain mix.
We're on a mission from.._GroK_!? ;^)

W.M. Bear said...

British astronauts in space? Well, I suppose it could happen--someday.

I'm holding my breath (gasping, turning blue....)