Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Things That Go Smash

Okay, this sound like a lot of fun. I won't deny it. Smashing a giant 2-ton probe into the moon at high speed is my idea of a good time. It's just in my nature. It reminds me of the time, as a 15 year old mischief-maker, me and a buddy filled an old tire with concrete and then set it rolling down the steep 5th hole of the golf course I grew up on. It was sweet. That sucker started rolling faster and faster and was probably going 40 mph as it approached the tee box at the bottom of the hill (no one was there - we were not homicidal) and then it hit the lip at the front of the tee and flew straight into the air completely jumping the box and making it's first bounce on the road behind. The second bounce was in the yard of the house on the other side of the road. There was no third bounce because the tire hit the garage of the house with a huge smashing sound and left a large gaping hole in the wall.

It took us a year of pulling weeds and mowing lawns to pay for that hole. And we learned our lesson. Smashing things into other things may be lots of fun, but it will cost you. You have to determine which things are worth smashing into other things.

This mission to crash a giant probe into the moon is cool. But it will cost $73 million. That's the estimate right now. And for what? To find out if there is water there? And by the way, does cheese show up on a spectrograph or whatever they use to determine chemical composition? Just wondering. The whole going back to the moon concept is wrong. I want to explore space as much as anyone else, but the moon is a big rock and not a place to build a space base to do anything. If we go to mars one day it will be from earth orbit, not the moon.

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