Destination Mars: The Countdown Continues
18 April 2011
As Professor Brian CoxTM likes to say on television on a regular basis, "the vastness of space is so vast that its vastness cannot be recognised merely by using the word vast." Or, as the less eminent Professor Malky Eight Feet of the University of Glasgow East likes to say, "space is pretty fucking big, by the way, you know, man."
How then is the proposed two-man Long Midnight Publishing Mars Mission rocket - due to leave the Earth in late 2012 - actually going to travel the frankly enormous distance to Mars, which is approximately 228 million kilometres away from LMP's base here in Bandar Sera Begawan (and even further away from Scotland).
If a thousand people were to set out on foot to walk 228 million kilometres, some analysts predict that the distance is so great that more than half of them would never make it. Consequently, our strange collective of scientists here at LMP HQ have been working day and night for more than two weeks trying to solve the terribly difficult question of how to travel 228 million kilometres in a few months.
Today we can at last unveil the first designs that have begun to leak out of the basement offices of the physics department. Moving on from the astonishing originality of the cube design, our crack team have now added a conical nose to ease the ship through the earth's atmosphere and a remarkable system of three rockets. Although I have reproduced the first technical drawing here, obviously it is much too complex for the layman to understand.
No, really, don't worry if you don't get it, it really is cutting edge. We showed it to Professor CoxTM earlier today and all he could say was, 'What the fuck?'
Once the rocket has broken free of the Earth's pull, the rocket and nose cone will be jettisoned and the cube will fly majestically through space, hopefully reaching its destination in around 100 days.
The countdown continues. The excitement mounts.