NASA’s Mission Of Educating Us Just Educated Me About A New Late-To-Work Excuse And More:

Are you, like me, having trouble finding good excuses about why you were late for work?

The old excuses of traffic, weather, being arrested, etc. just not working for you anymore?

Well, NASA has now given me new language for being late to work:

This came from a story about NASA’s Artemis 1 which, according to many online articles like this one from CNBC…

“Artemis is the name of NASA’s lunar program.  It represents a series of missions for which the agency is developing its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion capsule, which would deliver astronauts to the moon.  Boeing is the lead contractor building SLS, while Lockheed Martin is leading Orion development.”

The mission of Artemis is to put the U.S. astronauts back on the moon for the first time since 1972. 

It was begun by NASA in 2012 and scheduled to launch in 2017.

Now, according to this article:

“The space agency is aiming for a lunar-orbiting flight with astronauts in two years and a lunar landing by a human crew as early as 2025.”

See?  Artemis launch delayed from 2017 to 2022. This is what NASA calls a…

So I’ve got my new late-to-work excuse ready for next time:

“Ms. Colby, I had a schedule slip this morning.”

She’ll be so awed by my originality, she’ll probably give me a raise.

Otherwise, I can’t say I’ve learned much of anything from NASA except how to waste money, and I’ll reference Artemis 1 for that, as well:

“Paul Martin told a congressional subcommittee today that each of the first four Artemis missions will cost $4.1 billion and projected the agency will spend $53 billion on Artemis from FY2021-2025.”

“That does not include development costs.  His office projects the total cost for Artemis from FY2012, when the Space Launch System (SLS) program began, through FY2025 will be $93 billion.  Of that, $53 billion is for FY2021-2025.”

Wait.

There is something more to learn from NASA.

Specifically, that the above-mentioned Paul Martin said each of the four missions will cost “$4.1 billion,” and that “$93 billion” total…

With a straight face:

NASA Inspector General Paul Martin.

Martin’s straight face is especially impressive, considering the first of the four Artemis 1 missions – which is supposed to launch Monday, August 29 – is unmanned.  Again, according to the AP article:

“No one will be inside the crew capsule atop the rocket, just three mannequins swarming with sensors to measure radiation and vibration.”

So instead of sending humans, we’re paying $4.1 billion for three dummies to go on this dress rehearsal?

Shouldn’t there be some kind of discount for no humans on board?

And can I pick the dummies?  I’ll start with this guy:

Elon Musk being a space enthusiast, and all.

And a dumb idiot, and all…

At that same hearing NASA Inspector General Martin also…

“…pointed to ‘varying degrees of technical risk that will push launch schedules from months to years’ beyond current plans, leading to his estimate that the first return to the Moon ‘likely will slip to 2026 at the earliest.’”

Now the 2025 astronauts-on-the-moon launch “likely will slip to 2026 at the earliest”:

Armed with my well-rehearsed straight face, I’ll say:

“And Ms. Colby, my arrival time tomorrow will likely slip to noon at the earliest.”

This is good stuff I’m learning.

Here’s another Artemis-related article and more good stuff to learn:

This goes back to November 2021 and NASA Administrator/Head Honcho Bill Nelson…

…who was explaining that “bumps” in the above AP headline as follows:

“Congress did not provide enough money to develop a landing system for its Artemis moon program and more money is needed for its Orion capsule.”

Here we’ve got a combination straight-face-and-more-money request:

“Ms. Colby, this company does not provide enough money for me to live in the lifestyle to which I could become accustomed, and more money is needed…”

NASA Administrator Nelson also “made note of China’s ambitious and aggressive space program, and warned it could overtake the U.S. in lunar exploration.”

Way to go, Bill! 

Blame China for needing tons more money for Artemis 1!

Why not?  We blame China for everything – the mega-billion-dollar trade deficit, building better high-speed rail systems, for hogging all the pandas…

Yeah!  Blame China!

“Ms. Colby, my schedule slip this morning was due to vomiting up the three-week-old leftover Chinese food I ate for dinner last night.”

By now you may have gathered that I am not a NASA fan.

Or NA$A, as I like to spell it.

I don’t deny that there’s much to learn beyond the confines of our planet, but $93 billion to put astronauts on the moon?

Hell, we’ve already done that a half-dozen times…

But – $93 billion taxpayer dollars aside, I have learned lots of good stuff from NASA.

And if NASA Administrator Bill Nelson can say this with a straight face:

“NASA is committed to help restore America’s standing in the world.”

I’m confident that I can now say, straight-faced:

“Ms. Colby, I’m committed to help restore America’s standing in the world, and that requires my taking the rest of the week off to get started.”

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