By Nasser Roquette
The recent Brexit talk has gotten serious as the UK government, the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA join talks with regards to using NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) to put the UK in space.
The rocket is intended to be used to lift the United Kingdom into space where it can finally be the lonely, self-sufficient drifter it seems to want to be. Scotland are unhappy with this as they voted to remain terrestrial, and so there will be much political jousting over who actually goes to space.
The rocket is basically a very big explosion in a very big can, with 70 metric tons of lift. It’s so big it is believed to be the only known vehicle that could pick up Donald Trump’s ego. NASA are still uncertain if this new SLS will work, hence the tests. They will attempt to run through all systems, and test them at different temperatures to ensure operational stability and safety.
Initially, the new SLS was supposed to be in preparation of a manned mission to Mars. In order to get a full crew, wholly prepared, and any and all scientific instruments to the Red Planet, an awful lot of power is needed. However, following the recent EU referendum result in the UK NASA were also commissioned to test its capability of putting the UK in a stable orbit somewhere near the Earth (so they can still trade) but far enough away that they can pretend globalisation is not happening.
“It was an interesting phone call,” said Dr. Hanratty a NASA rocket engineer working out of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “We weren’t expecting to be improvising adjustments to this technology to give it the capability to cleave huge chunks of rock off of the terrestrial surface and put it into space. But, here we are and we like to meet any challenge.”
I asked her whether she felt it was a good idea, she laughed for a good ten minutes. “There’s no damn oxygen up there! Try and hide and shut yourself away all you like, you’re a tiny insignificant speck in an otherwise vast, sparsely populated universe. If I were you I’d enjoy being part of a community no matter how dysfunctional because, hell, space is beautiful until you realise how empty it is.”
“I think,” said Neil Garbage of the United Kingdom Interplanetary Party (UKIP), “it’s a wonderful idea. It is quite clear the Earth is full, there are too many migrants, too many people, putting a strain on the Earth’s services and resources and we need to do something about it. Ideally, I’d like to send the rest of the Earth off into space and just leave Britain where it is. That is, allegedly, a bit impractical and since we had the wonderful science-minded people at NASA working with us on this one, we actually came up with some sort of exit plan this time. So, it seems the time has come for Britain to bravely move forward, move upward and become the guardians of the Earth from a new home in space.” NASA doctors had previously diagnosed Garbage with ilithioitis or inflammation of the stupid.
So, the future of the UK lies in boldly going where no human has lived without pretty intense technological life support before. “We’ll be fine. Oxygen’s for wimps, spongers and scroungers.” Said Boris Johnson, and people believed him for some reason. Quite where this little experiment will leave the UK we have yet to see. NASA meanwhile have built one of the most exceptional pieces of rocketry ever known to man and plan to explore space. Forget Leave and Remain, I vote NASA.
All images credit to NASA/MSFC