Last month, our president announced a plan to add $6 billion in funding to the space program, while scrapping the Bush administration's plan to revisit the moon. This announcement, while effectively negating the chances that we’ll ever see a showdown between a black hawk helicopter and a Selenite mooncalf, is a step in the right direction. I just hope NASA puts the president's money to good use - although like a lot of things involving the President and hope, I'm not holding my breath. Which is why I've written five stellar (get it, astrophysicists?) ideas to get the ball rolling.
Create A Space Metaphors Division
In the 90s, scientists began describing general relativity as a sheet with a bowling ball in the center. When they realized that image was too abstract, they changed it to a couch with a fat woman on it. When we still didn’t get it, they threw a hissy fit and said they were withholding time travel for a few more centuries. The lesson here is that it’s impossible to sell a scientific concept to the masses unless you come up with a really good metaphor for it. That’s why I propose that NASA opens a space metaphors division, a sort of spin doctor of the astrophysics world, dedicated to describing the space program in new and exciting ways. Then when a reporter asks why we need to colonize other galaxies, the NASA rep can reply that our sun is burning out like Lindsey Lohan on a coke bender. Then the press conference will inevitably switch to an open forum for Lindsey Lohan jokes, allaying everyone’s suspicions while the NASA rep dabs his brow with a napkin containing various jokes that scientists tell about us.