Recently, and this will come as a surprise to exactly no one who knows me, I sent an email to NASA because a) They solicit questions from the public on this page; b) Some small portion of NASA was paid for with my taxes, and so I figured I may as well get something out of it; and c) I like fucking with people for no reason. So I asked them how much it would cost to fire David Lee Roth into the interior of the sun.
Here’s the actual text that I sent them:
Hi NASA! How are you? I’m fine. Can you give me a very rough estimate of how much it would cost to put David Lee Roth into space and then fire him into the interior of the sun? This is a serious request.
The page clearly states that my question would take “10 to 15 business days for processing”, and so I sat there patiently, wondering what kind of “processing” NASA does with emails. Do they print them out on the moon? Shoot them with lasers? Send them to some NASA peon named Herb? Who knows? But as the days slowly ticked by and I received no response, it became apparent to me that NASA was not going to answer my question even though I thoughtfully informed them that it was a serious request. And you know why they chose to ignore my question? Because NASA needs to lighten the fuck up, that’s why.
Remember back in the early 60’s? We had a young president in the White House, one who got stoned with a Playboy bunny in the Oval Office (I’m not joking, he really did this), and then later, in Berlin, he famously declared “I am a jelly donut!” He asked the fledgling National Aeronautics and Space Administration to put some dudes on the moon. I believe his exact words were, “We choose to do these things not because they are easy. We choose to do these things because they’d be really fucking cool. I mean, a guy on the moon? Whoooooaaaa.” (turning away from microphone) “Do we have any chips?”
And so what did NASA do? Surprisingly, for a bunch of guys with crew cuts, they did not have his hippy ass removed from power by the military, they just went ahead and did it. And what’s more they did it using monkeys, dogs, and the computing power of a free digital watch from a McDonald’s Happy Meal (although to be fair, they probably browsed a physics book or two). NASA saw the request for the obvious goof it was and decided to up the ante by actually going ahead and doing it. Then, in case anyone didn’t catch on to the humor, they went up there with a dune buggy and a set of golf clubs.
After that, though, people got the crazy notion in their heads that any government agency with a budget in the tens of billions of dollars should produce something more concrete than high definition pictures of stars and moist snorts of laughter. The last funny thing NASA did was to bomb the moon, and that met with crickets down here on terra firma. Enough bombs had been dropped on Earth at that point that the average response was, “What, now we gotta send the army to the fucking moon? What’s that going to cost?”
Well, I say that NASA’s new direction is wrong. They don’t need to produce results, just make us laugh again. For instance, who wouldn’t laugh at high definition footage of David Lee Roth singing “bosey-bosey-BOP… didee-bop!” before breaking into his trademark eagle scream as his hair burst into flames? I know I would. His last words could be, “Life goes on without me!”
(Being the curious sort, I decided to do the math myself and figure out the cost. We pay Russia $60 million to put an astronaut into space while we ready our next generation space launch vehicle. So assuming that it cost a mere $1 million to point a rocket towards the sun, give it a little boost, and then let the sun’s gravity do the rest, the total cost would be $61 million. That is a screaming deal. Literally. Looking for support and/or financial backers I tweeted Eddie Van Halen, “Estimated cost to launch DLR into space and fire him into the sun: $61 million. Can we put you down for $1 million?” His answer was, “Weeedle-weeedle-weeeeedle-weeeeeeeeeeee Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa whaaaaaaaaa!” which I believe is EVH guitar-speak for “Put me down for 2”.)
And NASA doesn’t need to stop there. Think of all the hilarious things they could do:
- Engrave a giant LOL on the moon!
- Create Saturn-style rings around the Earth made of underwear!
- Create orbital billboards that spell out “China Sucks”!
- A bunch of other things!
Instead, NASA is investing your taxpayer money (assuming you are American and pay taxes), in boring shit like putting dudes in a room for a long period of time. Seriously. I quote from Section 1.2, Introduction Overview of the Report, Summary:
As flight time increases and we build outposts such as the International Space Station (ISS), it becomes imperative for both safety and cost to minimize consumables and increase the autonomy of the life support system. By recycling air, water, and other consumables, a closed system can be developed…asldjifhsdlkfjh dflkja dskjfadfkj adskljf sdfklj
Sorry. That shit was so boring I dozed off while pasting it. Well, I’ve had it. NASA needs to start getting real, start getting with the program, and start getting nutty. I hereby challenge NASA to a show of good faith: Answer my question regarding David Lee Roth by Tuesday, February 7th, or I will be forced to ask my readers to flood NASA with queries regarding the cost and feasibility of firing aged, egomaniacal rock stars into the sun. This will result in a flood of up to ten emails, dragging NASA’s email server to its knees.
You’ve been warned, NASA. Make it so.