Space

Space: The Final Frontier…for Barfing

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Let's face it, Space Child: State-run space programs suck. Here's the latest "news" from the Intergalactic House of Pancakes, or whatever they're calling the multinational tax-hole in the sky these days:

German astronaut Hans Schlegel geared up for his first spacewalk on Wednesday, two days after an illness forced the shuttle Atlantis crew member to skip an outing to install the international space station's new European lab.

Schlegel and American astronaut Rex Walheim donned their spacesuits and were preparing to install a new nitrogen tank on the space station.

In a series of broadcast interviews Tuesday, Schlegel said he was feeling great but was a little anxious about his first venture outside the safe confines of the cabin. He refused to say what had been ailing him, insisting "medical issues are private."

NASA and European Space Agency officials stressed there were no changes to Wednesday's 6 1/2-hour spacewalk on Schlegel's behalf, and that he would do everything just as he'd practiced before last week's launch. No one was opposed to his going outside to perform the strenuous spacewalking work, officials said.

More here. If this is news, then don't bother waking me until the Kree/Skrull war comes a-callin. This may well be the sort of crap–along with the tech-bubble collapse, true–that lured Lou Dobbs from vacationing off-planet at Space.com to attack terrestrial migrants.

NASA last worked the P.R. machine most brilliantly when it ripped off The Simpsons' brilliant Deep Space Homer episode.

For a look at the real future of space travel, check out reason here and here.

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  1. Music and blasters and old Jedi Masters…

  2. So big deal, Hans had a herpes flare up in his space trousers. Suck it up, Herr Astronaut.

  3. I was thinking his Cialis created one of those 36 hour boners and he couldn’t get the form fitting suit on correctly so had to sit this one out. You know they’ve got the 100 mile high club going on up there.

  4. He refused to say what had been ailing him, insisting “medical issues are private.”

    Medical issues that interfere with your job duties are not private, especially when said job is funded by taxpayers.

  5. If this is news, then don’t bother waking me until the Kree/Skrull war comes a-callin.

    So why did I have to read about it here? Nick, don’t bother me with stuff you’d rather not be bothered with yourself.

  6. And in other “news” news: MSNBC, et al, are camped out at the Committee on Government Reform, breathlessly awaiting the appearance of Roger Clemens. No mention of the fact that the Senate sold us out yesterday.

  7. He probably got spacesick (which is seasickness is space). Usually happens the first 72 hours or so and is usually considering somewhat embarrassing for the astronaut.

    Kinda like a sailor getting seasick.

  8. Medical issues that interfere with your job duties are not private, especially when said job is funded by taxpayers

    Are you saying, R C, that I have a right to see the medical records of every federal employee?

  9. There really should be a picture of Barf from Spaceballs up there.

  10. He’s a mog. Half man, half dog. He’s his own best friend.

  11. I have a right to see the medical records of every federal employee?

    And to their first born child… and first night?

  12. Luke kissed his sister
    his hand got cut off
    In that galaxy far, far away,
    Luke has had a lousy day

  13. Episiarch,

    Ah, yes, Barry Manilow’s* best work.

    As for the mystery illness, let me just say that John Hurt can explain.

    * Richard Cheese’s, actually.

  14. American astronaut named Rex.
    German astronaut named Hans.

    Is this a Jerry Bruckheimer script?

  15. Possibly. The only thing it’s missing is Nicolas Cage running in slow motion as a giant explosion goes off in the background.

  16. Hans: “You American cowboys and your reckless pursuit of poetic but nearly impossible ideals! You’ll never win!”

    Rex: “Tell that to her.”

    Rex points to the Statue of Liberty, visible from space. FADE OUT

  17. Hans: You American cowboys and your reckless pursuit of poetic but nearly impossible ideals! You’ll never win!

    [20 minute action sequence. Explosions! Car chases! Exploding car chases! Exploding cars chasing explosions!]

    Rex: Tell that to her. [Dies.]

    Hans: [Looks downward. Takes Rex’s cowboy hat, puts it on over his space helmet. Mosey-floats back to space station. Looks back at statue of liberty, a tear forming in the corner of his eye.]

    FADE TO CREDITS. AEROSMITH PLAYS.

  18. Are you saying, R C, that I have a right to see the medical records of every federal employee?

    I’m saying that their supervisors do, if their medical problems interfere with their job duties.

    I’m also saying that they may have to give up their medical privacy if they continue to want to (a) hold their jobs while (b) not performing them due to alleged medical conditions.

    Just like in, you know, the private sector.

  19. Hans: You American cowboys and your reckless pursuit of poetic but nearly impossible ideals! You’ll never win!

    [20 minute action sequence. Explosions! Car chases! Exploding car chases! Exploding cars chasing explosions!]

    Rex: Tell that to her. [Dies.]

    Hans: [Looks downward. Takes Rex’s cowboy hat, puts it on over his space helmet. Mosey-floats back to space station. Looks back at statue of liberty, a tear forming in the corner of his eye.]

    FADE TO CREDITS. AEROSMITH PLAYS.

    I really want to see that movie…no kidding…man, I am a sucker.

  20. RC Dean:
    I’m saying that their supervisors do, if their medical problems interfere with their job duties.

    His supervisor did — that’s why the whole post of flight surgeon was created. (Also, frankly, to prevent sick astronauts from screwing things up by deciding they should ‘tough it out’ and fly anyways).

    They’re refusing to tell the public how he’s sick. The flight surgeon knows quite well, and his bosses know whether he’s sick or well enough to do the job, based on the doctor best qualified to make the call’s decision.

    Shit, my “private employer” wants a doctor’s note if I’m out more than three days (they have a generous sick leave policy and prefer NOT to have it abused), but they don’t ask why. They just want a doctor to vouch for it.

    I fail to see the difference.

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