Friday, May 1, 2015

NASA: Crushers of Dreams

You know, I really wish the internet would stop lying to me about science. Check this out:
Pictured: Lies. Also, that's the wrong Enterprise. Pfft...losers.
Oh, wait the irony of that statement just hit me.
"Well, here's our god, Vaal. Although I'm not
sure why you need its precise coordinates..."
A real-life warp drive? That's mind-shattering news! Soon we'll be star trekking off into space, encountering aliens and throwing primitive societies into chaos by launching an orbital phaser bombardment against whatever malfunctioning computer they've been worshiping as a god. Yup. There's a bright future full of discovery and scientific achievement ahead of us. Except no, of course there's not. The whole thing is completely misleading and we'll probably all be killed in the upcoming Water Wars. Thanks a lot, NASA.

Above: The EM Drive...or possibly
 a craft brew kit. It's hard to tell.
Yeah, so NASA engineers didn't so much test a warp drive as they did successfully test and electromagnetic propulsion drive in a vacuum (as in a volume devoid of air, not like a Dyson) What's the difference? Well, one uses anti-matter to distort space-time and propel a starship at speeds here-to-for thought impossible. Once realized, the warp drive will carry humans to the furthest reaches of our own galaxy and beyond and usher in a new age for all mankind. The other is an electromagnetic propulsion drive.

This begs the question, what is NASA doing wasting their time with disappointing, non-warp drive experiments when they could be working on, oh, I don't know, warp drive?
Look, sooner or later an alien Tootsie-Roll is going to show up and demand to talk to whales (source: history).
We have two choices here: 
One: we can not drive them to extinction, or 
Two: when the time comes, we can simply warp back to the 1980's and pick some up at Sea World. 
C'mon, which would you rather do?

An artist's rendering.
As it happens, the EM drive is actually pretty cool for a couple of reasons-at least I think it is. I'm really only half-following what they're talking about. Anyway, first off, it's solar, meaning you don't have to carry fuel which would make space crafts lighter and less explosion-prone. Also, it can work in the vacuum of space, which is like, really complicated. Here on Earth, a jet engine works by sucking in air and then squirting it out. In space there's nothing to suck up. That's why they call it space. Instead, the EM drive converts electrical energy into the delta-v quantum plasma, and uh-it sucks up magic and wonder and then squirts our awesome as it sciences it's way though space. Because physics.

So congratulations to NASA, on what is certainly a big damn deal in the world of science. And a heart-felt boo! on the media coverage which tricked me into clicking on a story about NASA's new warp-drive only to disappoint me with NASA's new vacuum quantum-electro whatever. C'mon internet, we can handle honest headlines. You don't have to mislead us into reading about-holy shit, did Barbara Streisand bite a flight attendant?
Goddamnit internet...

No comments:

Post a Comment