We’ve all heard the standard argument. Have we really benefited from the mind boggling amounts of money poured into NASA? Is it true that all we have to show for all that effort and spending is Tang and Velcro?
A little digging reveals that in fact there have been innumerable benefits derived from our exploration into Space. And it turns out that Velcro was invented before NASA was even thought of and Tang was a crappy powderized OJ imitation that was the byproduct of a guy obsessed with instant coffee way back in the early 1950s.
So before we get to giving our scientists and astronauts an undeserved bad rap, let’s take a look at the Top 10 Benefits Of The Space Program from the AMOG point of view.
10. Robots: I have yet to lose my job to one, mainly because I’ve had a lot of crummy jobs that not even a robot would do. But I have lost a few bosses to them. Thanks Buzz!
9. GPS Navigation Systems: Although GPS takes the fun out of getting lost, it does mean we no longer have to listen to endless and incomprehensible directions from clueless strangers walking beside deserted roads for no apparent reason. Unless they’re in the DUI lane. I have the Brooklyn Guy voice on mine. Every time I screw up he comes on and says “Oh! You missed the turn asshole!”
8. Pay Per View: Many is the night I’ve enjoyed Playboy After Dark. Too bad NASA can’t invent a foolproof billing system that truly lists my choices in a “discreet” format. The old Nutcracker has gotten very good at deciphering titles like “BX LNCH” and “SHVNG PRVT RYN”.
7. Kevlar: 10,000 lives saved and counting on the battlefield, both foreign and domestic. No joke there. Worth every penny.
6. Blue Blocker Sunglasses: The sunglasses are not so hot. But the infomercials with people who try to act hip with a pair of these on are priceless. Unanticipated side benefit? They make for a surprisingly effective birth control device.
5. Football Helmets: The added protection afforded by higher shock absorption has lead to bigger players and harder hits. On TV we don’t get a sense of the impact better helmets have had on the game. But if you head out to the stadium and see and hear it up close, you’ll wish there was a shuttle flight every week.
4. Mini Mag Flashlights: Not just great for lighting up the dark, but also a good conk on the head of anyone bugging the piss out of you. A friend used to use one without the cap for romantic candlelight dinners with his wife. I say he should refund a portion of the taxpayer’s money.
3. Joysticks: Where would the video game revolution be without them? Confined to the “gnarly thumb” wards at countless rehab facilities. Remember how hard ABAABCCABB was on the old digits back when Nintendo ruled?
2. Cordless Drills: Aaah… what AMOG hasn’t felt the thrill of the new and improved lithium-ion battery? It’s now possible to properly anchor a drywall screw without busting out the 90 foot extension cord. There was a time when you could barely put together a picture frame with the cordless drill of yesteryear. As Tim Allen would say, ”AAARRGHHROOO?!?!”
1. Google Earth: Using Google Earth to map out a driving route is priceless. And looking at old stomping grounds from helicopter level is cool. But it’s the poring over resort areas for nude sunbathers that has completely justified the trillions of dollars we’ve spent.
On To Mars!