In space tantrum news, the most recently launched NASA space probe in currently pitching a fit in orbit.
Although the launch of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) went well, the onboard computer reportedly shut down LADEE’s reaction wheels after she copped an unstable attitude on her way to orbit. Onlookers also reported seeing LADEE streaking across the night sky, until the computer forced her to put some clothes on. A NASA psychologist, who requested anonymity due to doctor-space probe confidentiality issues, suggested that being apart from the Minotaur V launch vehicle was causing separation anxiety.
“This is not an an unusual event in spacecraft,” Ames Research Center director Pete Worden told reporters. “We screw up all the time! We launched the Hubble telescope with a broken lens, crashed a probe into Mars because someone used the metric system, and nearly froze Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon to death. Any time we get called on it, we just hold a special showing of The Right Stuff, and everyone forgets.”
Worden went on, “I’ve been involved with a lot of missions particularly with small spacecraft. The really important thing is that we have full communications.” The computer did what it was supposed to, and called the Minotaur V at the home of his father, M-V, in Orlando. The young couple has decided to take a break during LADEE’s month-long mission. Worden assured the press, “We’re pretty confident that we’re going to get it [the relationship] in the right state.”
The probe kicked up huge amounts of dust during its launch Friday night (as seen in the NASA photograph above). The Earth dust will be taken to the nearby Mid-American Regional Spaceport (MARS) in Virginia to be searched for Martian life. Scientists are hoping the absence of interplanetary bacteria Maybe used to confirm recent theories that life began on Mars.
Once the probe reaches the moon, it will begin analyzing the practically non-existent lunar atmosphere using LADEE’s Dust Analyzer. The LADEE-DA will try to explain a strange glow on the moon’s surface 40 years ago without landing on the moon or going back in time. According to NASA, surface boundary exospheres like the moon’s are the most common type of atmosphere in the solar system, occurring on all eight planets, except for Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
The probe will also deploy new infrastructure for an “interplanetary internet”, based on NASA’s Global Aerospace Gateway Architecture (GAGA). The LADEE-GAGA laser will be used as a relay station for the Lone Signal project, in the hopes of diverting spam-hating aliens away from the Earth.
Director Worden concluded the press conference by inviting reporters to a special showing of The Right Stuff tonight at 8PM.
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