Well, the Czar is certainly all excited for the upcoming Pluto fast flyby! If you have been living under a rock for the last few years, in addition to liking Donald Trump’s campaign, you should also know that we finally sent a probe toward Pluto and it’s pretty much in the Plutonian outskirts right now.
The probe, cleverly named HMS New Horizons by the same government that comes up with those ridiculous military operations code names (“Infinite Bumblebee” or “Enduring Fist”), is the fastest moving probe we’ve ever sent. Really. In fact, this probe is a Bugatti Veyron compared to the Ford Festiva you’re thinking about. It’s positively screaming, although because it’s in space, no one can hear it scream.
The probe is moving so fast that when it zings past Pluto, we can expect some super-powered megapixel shots that look like this:
Of course, people are asking why we spent all that time and money to shoot a probe past Pluto, and the reason is because if we aimed it into Pluto, the probe would smash onto its surface.
A lot of fun ensues from this mission. For example, since the probe was launched in 2006, we’ve discovered Pluto has a few more moons—which means one of two things: we’ll either smack into one of these new moons, or we’ll bang into one we didn’t even know about. The Czar’s cousin once discovered a newly planted tree on his property the same way, by backing into it with his car.
Anyway, there’s more stuff to come. Because the probe is moving at incredibly high speed, and there’s so much more out there past the orbit of Pluto, it’ll possibly get within a billion miles of another chunk of ice around 2036, when Americans will be eating each other as a result of the economic decisions of President Chelsea Clinton.
The Czar likes this stuff for a couple of reasons. First, we know so little about Pluto that virtually every picture that comes in teaches us something totally new. And of course, we’re doing space exploration with robot probes, which is cheaper and smarter than sending expensive and dopey humans out there. Can you name the eighth dude to walk on the moon? No, because ultimately we don’t give two craps about astronauts anymore.
Of course the mission hasn’t been all laughs: last weekend, technicians lost all contact with the probe because it locked up. All researchers were able to get back, for almost two hours, was this cryptic message:
Finally, they were able to get everything working again by holding down shift, control, alt, command, power, print screen, sys rq, the wiggle button, and emptying out the print buffer net services cache as an administrator. Just like you have to do at home three times a week.
So by the end of this month, we’ll finally be able to see what Pluto looks like (hint: a pink snowball) instead of purely imagining what it might look like (a pink snowball).
Also, some of the ashes of Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh are on board the probe. He’s now the furthest the burnt remains of any human have ever traveled (further even than Timothy Leary). It warms our heart to know that a cremated guy has been stuffed into a small canister on a $700 million probe into deep space, when your trash guy bitches because you put an old toilet out on the curb. Perspective, jackass, you say to him.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.