Australia Enters The Space Race !! (Life On Mars) April 1, 2009Posted by Richard Foote in Richard's Musings.
Just had to share this incredible news. Makes one proud to be an Australian today !!
“Australia today announced the truly exciting news that starting 2010, it will begin its own space program with the ultimate aim of potentially collonising the planet Mars. This will be the first time a country has specifically stated its intention to lay claims to a territory outside the planet Earth.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, currently overseas and about to attend the G-20 summit, said in a press statement that as part of yet another stimulus package to help address the current financial crisis, Australia will invest 20 billion Australian Dollars over the next 15 years, in what will officially be called the Australian Research Space Enterprise. Kevin Rudd claims that not only will this investment create real jobs and help to dramatically stimulate the Australian economy, but by the program’s end, Australia will hopefully also have something incredible to show for it all as well, a big beautiful red planet to claim our own !!
Realistically, experts claim the chances of completing the project in just 15 years is going to be extremely difficult. Although most of the technology to achieve such an incredible objective is already well established within Australia, actually fully developing and building the required infrastructure and the necessary space crafts will be a difficult challenge for a country like Australia. Dr. Sharp from the Australian National University (ANU) however believes the whole enterprise is totally achievable. “We have the natural resources, we have the necessary skills and human resources, we have the climate and natural landscape and we have a country full of people who are natural battlers and who don’t know how to give up, of course we have every chance of success. We’re also used to driving long distances which can’t hurt our chances”.
Industries spokesmen and Australian businesses are fully supportive of the governments announcement and believe it will have a positive impact on many Australian businesses and on the Australian ecconnmy generally. Mr Pennywise from the Australian Business Council (ABC) believes it will help ailing Australian businesses enormously. “We needed a huge injection not only in money and investments but in confidence as well. This is the biggest bloody syringe we could have hoped for ! The resource sector, manufacturing, IT, even tourism and retail will benefit enormously from this initiative. I’m going to buy an “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Mars Mars Mars” t-shirt as soon as they’re available”.
Like Antarctica, where Australia has a 35% claim in the territory, claiming territory rights for the planet Mars is being viewed by many in Australia as a natural extension of Australia’s colonising past. Dr. Frost who is currently working at the Australian Mawson station in Antarctica thought Australia was going one better with it’s space program announcement. “Don’t get me wrong, Antarctica is a fantastic place and has many wonderful discoveries. However, at the end of the day, it’s bloody cold here, it’s stinks of Penguins and there’s not much we can do except watch the occasional Japanese ship harpoon the odd whale. Mars offers far more in terms of potential, both in materials and general resources and in preventing dry skin and chapped lips from this cold wind”.
Foreign Affairs minister Stephen Smith said in a statement “Hopefully, Australia will be viewed as providing strong leadership and guidance on how other countries can invest massive amounts of money in an economic stimulous package, that not only achieves the goal of spending massive amounts of money but also has something significant to show for all the massive amounts of money that is spent. There is nothing stopping other countries in likewise having a dream and investing massive amounts of money in achieving the dream. Yes, the dream may not actually be realised in the end but at least you tried to achieve your dreams while spending the massive amounts of money necessary in a worthwhile economic stimulus package. Other countries too can spend massive amounts of money in attempting to colonize a planet. Not Mars, cause it’s now taken but Venus is still up for grabs”.
Overseas reaction to the news has been mixed. Some countries such as New Zealand appear to view the whole initiative with some skepticism. “They can afford to send Australians to Mars but they can’t afford a decent rugby team” said one Wellington local. The UK was much more supportive with Prime Minister Brown saying “The British wish Australia every success. Who knows, if successful, hopefully one day our two great nations will be able to play a test match on Mars although I suspect the atmosphere will likely result in a swinging ball and turning wicket”.
Obama, the US President who was one of the first overseas leaders to hear of the news during recent talks with Kevin Rudd in Washington, was extremely supportive of the Australian initiative and expressed hopes the two countries would continue their close national ties by cooperating in their Space pioneering endeavors. In a press statement, President Obama said “Hopefully, we can work together in space and the US wishes Australia and its people every success in their space exploration endeavours. As a sign of our friendship and support, the US will provide funds and technical support in helping get the Australian Research Space Enterprise off the ground, with the hope that Australia might perhaps one day help to install a barbecue on the International Space Station”.
Life is likely going to be very different for many Australians with many viewing today’s official announcement with excitement and shock. “This is better than when we got the Sydney Olympics” said Manly resident Michael Star. “Instead of being the centre of the world for two weeks, we’re going to be the centre of the world for bloody years. Well, the centre of Mars anyways”. “We’re going to Mars, we’re going to Mars” screamed school girl Nancey Moon from Canberra. John Mercury, a homeless man from Brisbane was less exuberant at hearing the news “Who gives a flying shit about @#$%ing Mars, there’s no decent pubs there last time I checked”.
State lotteries are already planning a national selection lottery that will select two lucky “everyday Australians” to be part of the first official flight to Mars. Not only will you need to have a good head for heights, but also be able to pick 6 straight numbers plus one supplementary. There will also be a national contest to select which beer will be the first beer in space and another competition aimed at school children to decide what the bumper sticker should be on the first Aussie spaceship to Mars. Although way too early to tell, “If you can read this sticker, you’re way too close and you’ll instantly be burnt to death once we take off you dick head” is already an early favourite !! “.