Sunday, 16 November 2014

Philae

I'm not convinced by the claims that the European Space Agency has successfully landed a probe on a comet.

First of all, we all know 'comets' are actually dragons, tearing through space, going about their business.  It is highly unlikely a probe could have landed on a dragon's back and not been eaten - unless the dragon was thinking really hard about something, and didn't notice.

Second, we've been assured for the last 40 years or so that it is impossible for anything innovative or exciting to happen in the public sector, and the ESA is very much a publicly funded body.  Worse, it is a multiple national Euro-pudding of an organisation.  It defies credibility that they could have the sense and wherewithal to actually bring the paper and pens to a planning session, far less come with a plan, build a spacecraft capable of hurtling through space and intersecting with a comet/dragon and land on its hindquarters.

It's clearly a fake.

In fact,the more I look at it, the more this so called 'comet' look like a bit of wasteland in one of Glasgow's less affluent areas. Like most of the locals, the lander sprawled in disarray amid the debris, possibly clutching a bottle of Buckfast or Whyte & MacKay.

It isn't 'running out of power.  It's just drunk.

If, remarkably, it really has happened just like the scientists say, it is excellent work by Europeans. (And to think David Cameron wants to stop Britain being European. The man is demented.)   And a real triumph for of state funded research and innovation. Public bodies have reached the moon, Mars and now landed on a comet-dragon. And there are all sorts of other probes out there, tootling about and frightening the asteroids.

Let's hear it for the comrades at NASA and the ESA. And don't forget CERN. Massive scale public funded research is doing all sorts of cool stuff.

Private space travel on the other hand ... well, Richard Branson assures us it is going well.  Other than assurances, the private sector has given us ... Britain's Got Talent, and The Apprentice.

That is it.

Nothing else.

(I'll grant the private sector contributed something to deciphering the human genome. But that's it. Nothing else. Reality TV and and a score draw in genetics are all private enterprise has to boast about.)

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