Today’s post comes from Curiosity’s Mars Rover.
(photo via JPL / NASA)
Yes, it’s my birthday.
That’s the modern Facebook age for you – everybody knows it’s your birthday even though nobody knows you personally. Not too many, anyway. Especially in my case, since I was built in a dust-free assembly building by people inside isolation suits – put in there to keep me from being contaminated by their hair or flaky skin cells or spittle.
I guess I should be grateful that I didn’t have to touch anything gross, but I feel the lack of human contact here and it’s not going to get better anytime soon. They’re sending another robotic mission in the year 2020, and there’s an outside chance I’ll still be functioning well enough to welcome it to the Red Planet, understanding that I’m a machine and they’re sending machines and nobody has feelings or particularly needs to be welcomed.
Anyway, I won’t hold my breath. You know why.
The birthday is meaningless, especially since I’m now tracking years on two planetary timetables. I just celebrated one year on Mars, yet here I am two Earth years old. What does that mean?
Nothing, really, unless there are presents.
What sort of present would I like? That’s easy. It’s something most automated landing devices don’t get, and yet it’s so closely tied to the outer space dreams of Earthlings I really feel cheated that I didn’t get one.
I want a spacesuit.
When you think about it, they sent me up here naked. Would you do that, even to your worst enemy? Banished to Mars, naked?
I’m here to work, so I at least deserve the dignity of a decent set of work clothes. Those guys who landed on the Moon had the coolest spacesuits ever, and there’s a book (soon to be a movie) about how those suits came to be made. They were crafted, not by nerdy teckno-geeks, but by warm-hearted seamstresses from Platex – the same people who made brassieres and girdles.
I just find that comforting. The thought of having some protective fabric nestled against my outer surface would help me feel embraced, so if it’s not too much to ask, how about a Kickstarter campaign to fashion me a wardrobe.
If work clothes are too complicated, how about a bathrobe or something cozy that the next mission can drop off as it goes into orbit?
I’m only 2 right now, but I have to look ahead. A care package with a bathrobe in it, or even just a throw, would ease the harsh prospect facing me – a power supply that runs down to nothing, followed by a virtually endless parade of twilight years.
And there’s a boatload of twilight up here, I can tell you that.
Over and Out,
What’s in your “comfort” wardrobe?