A Manned Mission to Mun – From Ignorance to Enlightenment via Fear: Part One
My fellow Kerbals, the time has come for us to push back the veils of mystery surrounding the Mun. Many of you remember the words of our president, John F. Kerman, when he set our nation on its long ballistic trajectory to a Mun landing (not literally – We couldn’t get the thrust-to-weight ratio for the entire country high enough). For those of you who weren’t there yesterday, I’d like to read an excerpt from that speech:
“We meet at a pizza parlor noted for marinara sauce, in a city noted for its deep pan crust, in a State noted for its cheese, and we stand in need of all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The higher our knowledge launches, the deeper our ignorance craters.
Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the snack-pocket revolution, the first waves of modern video games, and the first wave of pop music, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. For the eyes of Kerbin now look into space, to the Mun and to the planets beyond.
We choose to go to the Mun. We choose to go to the Mun tomorrow evening, just after dinner, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, and because we just accidentally bought a shedload of rocket parts on eBay.
Many years ago the great Kerbish explorer George Kerman, who was to die on Mount Kerberest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, “I’m trying to escape my ex-wife.”
Well, my ex-wife is here, and the Mun and the planets are there.
I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before tomorrow is out, of landing a Kerbal on the Mun and maybe returning him to Kerbin.”
We have begun an intensive program of scientific research designed to make the mission safer. This phase is expected to last all morning. Firstly, we shall launch a probe into space to investigate the atmosphere. Everybody knows that the air gets thicker the higher you get, and that’s what keeps the Mun and planets from crashing down about our ears. So we have designed a probe that will measure the thickness of the interplanetary atmosphere and find out if we might need to use aquarium pumps to pump all that extra thick air out of the space capsule to prevent the Kerbonauts from expiring unnecessarily. I’ve spoken with the brave volunteers at Kerbal Space Academy and they are pretty keen on the idea of continuing to breathe. We’ve also mounted a pair of spotlights, because it’s dark in space, some landing legs in case it turns out you can stand on space, and some extendable wings to help it glide through the thick interplanetary air.
This unmanned probe, Blind Optimism I, will be launched into orbit shortly after a hearty breakfast of toast, eggs, some bacon, maybe some waffles with maple syrup, and a bunch of those great sausages from the butcher near where I live. I’ll be taking further questions about my breakfast after the launch.