A lot of people have said in recent weeks that the space agency simply lacks the chutzpah that put a man on a moon. Figure out global warming? Boring, they say. The Onion has come up with a satirical solution that just might blow your minds: Project Spaceman, the David Bowie-inspired Glam Space Program. Put some shields on those rockets and all the hazy cosmic jive in the universe won’t keep us from finding spiders on Mars.

This whole thing is a joke, but it’s not far off the mark. Critics of Obama’s revised space strategy are pissed that we’re not being ambitious enough. Even if it makes little sense in the short term, they say, you’ve got to point to the stands and call it. You’ve got to do the other thing. You have to aim high. But NASA, as inspiring as its history has been, should also be about getting things done. Especially now. More modest projects could actually quicken our return to the stars. Planning has a tendency to make things work better.

If you just can’t wait, then grab Ziggy, Iman and the gang and see if the Russians will lend you a rocket. — PZS

The Onion:

NASA chief engineer Mike Ryschkewitsch said that Moonage Daydream differs from earlier shuttle models in several significant ways. Though the overall shape is similar to previous crafts, the exterior of the $4.5 billion vehicle has been fitted with improved shielding, making it better equipped to withstand the hazy cosmic jive.

In addition to the shuttle redesign, several other daring changes have been made to NASA’s equipment. According to Ryschkewitsch, the astronauts, or “spaceboys,” as they will be called during the mission, are equipped with state-of-the-art pressurized suits.

“These new suits are veneered with a protective silver lamé to complement the multicolored lightning bolts emblazoned across the helmets’ sun visors,” Ryschkewitsch said. “They’ve also been updated with several improved components to ensure the team is completely safe when it’s time to leave the capsule—if they dare.”

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