Denver Bar Association
April 2000
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Who's on Mars? Not Us!

Miss Management

Editor's Note: Due to complaints about The Docket's frequent coverage of the rich and famous, it has been determined that there is a need for equal time. Therefore, this column is dedicated to the poor and obscure, which includes government attorneys, solo and small firm practitioners, attorneys who are parents of small children, and everyone at Legal Aid. (Miss Management is the nom de plume of a Denver attorney who is or has been most of the above.)

Miss Management loves a puzzle. She solves the Cryptogram with her morning coffee, and wastes Sunday mor-nings outwitting the New York Times crossword puzzle. Every five years she rereads all of Sherlock Holmes (and once foiled a robbery plot because she recognized it from "The Red-Headed League," but that's another story). Like "The Great Detective," she has found that the most important clues are the small anomalies--like the dog that failed to bark in the night.

This brings us to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the space program that has failed to send anyone into interplanetary space for almost 30 years.

On May 25, 1961, John F. Kennedy announced that our national goal was to put a man on the moon. On September 11, 1962, he explained that we were meant to lead the space race because "the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we will not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace." In 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, telling all mankind that we had just made a giant leap.

From 1969 to 1972, Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 revisited the moon, adding another handful of Americans who had slipped the surly bonds of Earth in the most spectacular way imaginable.

And that was that. We never went back. We never went anywhere (except for a few stints in low orbit). The "Giant Leap" metamorphosed into a slow, crab-wise scuttle, mostly in the opposite direction. So why did we go to the moon in the first place? To use up an extra six trillion dollars of GNP? To test-drive our Moon Boots? Or just to sport bumper stickers that say, "I have walked on the moon, have YOU?"

Then there's Mars. Everything that anybody has sent to Mars for the last several years has either blown up en route, crash landed on arrival, or mysteriously disappeared (especially if it gets too close to Deimos.)

Last Fall, Mars Climate Orbiter disappeared, which NASA attributed to the fact that half of it was built in metric and the other half in feet and inches. (Okay, RIGHT!) In December, Mars Polar Orbiter disappeared without a trace. Why can't NASA even succeed in sending a little bundle of hardware off to our nearest planetary neighbor? What's going on here?

For the answer to this and other questions, we must turn our attention to area 51. OOPS! We mean "the alleged Area 51," since our military still insists there is no such place. Former alleged Area 51 employees allege that we are back-engineering alleged UFO's there, with a gravity-nullifying propulsion system based on Element 115. Over the last ten years in particular, a whole lot of people (including pilots, radar operators, and law enforcement personnel) have seen a whole lot of silent, glowing delta-shaped craft that can go from zero to warp in a nanosecond, emerging from the Area That Isn't There.

Or to use the "follow the money" principle of investigation, why are NASA's little mismeasured hardware projects going up (but not coming back down, of course) for an average cost of about $150 million, while our military "black budget" (which is what allegedly funds the Area That Isn't There) is in the multi-trillion-dollar spending category?

Anyway, if we have craft equipped with electro-gravitic drive, which would cut the round trip to Mars down to a convenient eight or ten hours, why is NASA working so hard to colonize the moon and Mars using those gigantic, dangerous, expensive, antiquated, liquid-oxygen-and-hydrogen propelled multi-stage rockets?

Oh, wait. That's right! THEY'RE NOT! Case Closed.

(By the way, don't ask about what else they're doing at Area 51, because (a) you really don't want to know, and (b) anybody who told you would then have to kill you.)

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