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Hitchhiker's Guide to NASA

As I always do, I checked my YouTube subscriptions for the latest in videos- Most of them from NASA's several YouTube channels- and one came up yesterday, I have to share with you all! :)

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center posted a video that definitely takes its cue from Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" on the complexities of building a satellite (using the new MAVEN satellite as the example)-- Enough so, that they hired one of the stars from the original BBC Hitchhiker's Guide radio & TV series- Simon Jones, the original and definitive Arthur Dent- to do the voice over.

And here it is: So, You Want To Build a Satellite?

Also, something
pointed out is this very short (under 2 minutes) and very silly short from France titled Burning Safari. :)

Viewed: 9 times
Added: 7 years, 8 months ago
7 years, 8 months ago
They should really have gotten Peter Jones, the original Book, although Simon did a decent job. I see what you mean about the art style being similar to the movie Book, which was actually pretty clever IMHO; it's almost a shame that there's no prize for "most amusing user interface." (I'd bet a nickel the movie Book's interface style was inspired by LCARS though.)

Not that it really matters anymore, but the shuttle never was all that good a spaceship. It cost more than necessary to launch a satellite and was more complex and had more capacity than was really necessary to put humans into space. It had '70s era technology that couldn't be upgraded and wasn't exactly "cutting edge" even by '70s standards. It couldn't be exited in an emergency, no in-launch rescue system was possible. Even its toilet never worked right. We could do much better now!

But instead, any future American astronauts will need to learn Russian or Mandarin. Do you think MAVEN will ever be launched? They scuttled the James Webb. Frankly, I think NASA's days are numbered. Let's hope your Congress sells off their incomplete projects instead of just wasting them.

I had to DL "Burning Safari" to view it. It was worth the bandwidth, it's fun. Vindiction, thy name is Great Ape! (They really should change that to "big ape," there's nothing superior about us, except possibly our tempers, maybe our egos. Come to that, if I were a gorilla, I'd thank me to speak for myself!)
7 years, 8 months ago
Well, they couldn't get Peter Jones, due to the obvious: He's six feet under. That's why he wasn't the voice of the Book for both the movie and the more-recent BBC radio series, from the third book onwards. (The replacement voice was Stephen Fry.)

Actually, the interface used in the movie (made with Flash, BTW) was based on, of all things, the packaging for the BBC's audiobooks. ;)

As for the space shuttle, they could've made plans for advancements along the way, but considering NASA has always been underbudgeted since the Apollo cancellation (for example: the 2009 budget was for a mere $700 million), and Congress' continual shortsightedness on the benefits of funding NASA (as they whip out their cellphones and drive around with GPS). The real disappointment is that there is no manned mission by American means for the forseeable future, as even Orion is iffy at this time. As for James Webb, it isn't out of the picture just yet, from my sources. I want the JWST up there so we could actually SEE some Earthlike planets out there. ;)

It's amazing how much they packed into 1m49s for "Burning Safari" and still tell a coherent story. ;)

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