Did your dreams come true this Friday? Maybe not if you were praying for the world, but if you ever wanted to be an astronaut, today is your lucky day.
Say it with us: space garbagemen.
In the past, you needed some fancy science degree or combat flight training for NASA to send you up in 30-year-old failing equipment. But, now that the shuttle’s retired and the U.S. is looking to save a few bucks where we can, there’s some 50 to 60-year-old garbage up there that’s looking mighty tempting.
The military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) believes that it might possible to finally trawl our orbiting cloud of space debris — a motley collection of old satellites, rockets and cosmonauts — for spare parts. This would simultaneously punch a couple of exit holes through the field of death threatening future space missions and supply cheap parts for new satellites and spacecraft. (Russia will have to continue building cosmonauts “the old fashioned way.”)
Who’s gonna do it? The Guys will, America … so long as independent space garbage scows are allowed to fly the Jolly Roger.