WTF NASA!?!?!?

March 23, 2009

NASA is soliciting on-line voting in the finals of the public naming process for the Mars Rover exploration doohickey.

Vision, Amelia, Sunrise, Pursuit, Journey, Perception, Wonder, Curiosity, Adventure???

This is the unimaginative tripe they came up with as the finalists!?!?!?

Wow, let’s call a scientific tool, “Curiosity”!! Holy fucknoly, I’ve got it!! Let’s call a thing that is going to travel really far and explore a distant place, “Journey”!!! Or no, wait, I’ve GOT IT!!!!! It’s going into outer space and to another planet!!! “ADVENTURE”! BRILLIANT!!

Just fucking shoot me.

(Yeah, I know. These seminfinalists were selected from submissions by schoolkids. But seriously, did the addled NASA functionaries have to pick these as the finalists? There must have been some more clever or surprising names submitted.)

22 Responses to “WTF NASA!?!?!?”

  1. Physiogroupie IV Says:

    Space Shuttle Journey? Steve Perry would be so proud.

  2. Phledge Says:

    Clearly the runts have not yet learned mythology.

  3. puck Says:

    Welcome, Comrade, to the field of astronomy. Have you SEEN what we name our telescopes? Really: did you know that our planet has an array of 10 25-meter diameter radio antennae that are spread across North America and synced up to observe together, effectively giving us a telescope with a diameter of like HALF THE EARTH? And what did astronomers name it? The “Very Long Baseline Array”. The VLBA. Largest telescope in the world? The “Very Large Telescope” (VLT). Revolutionary telescope (in its day) composed of multiple mirrors cut and positioned with incredible precision? The “Multiple Mirror Telescope” (MMT). I supposed we should just be grateful that NASA’s not naming the thing MRED (“Mars Rover Exploration Doohickey”…hell, come to think of it, that’s not even that bad an acronym for the red planet).

    One of my goals as an astronomer-in-training is to one day be on the board for naming some new outstandingly large telescope and seeing if I can convince the acronym-happy whitehairs to name it GFAT – Ginormous Fucking Awesome Telescope. I figure the name is at least a little more reflective of the awesomeness, and the acronym itself is something I’d love to see the old dudes – it sounds like an up-and-coming rap group.

  4. puck Says:

    er, “something I’d love the see the old dudes ^pronounce”…oh what the hell, you knew what I meant, and agreed, the names suck. Maybe if we all go over there and vote for the lamest one they’ll just HAVE to reconsider and pick something more tolerable. Trouble is, what’s the lamest one on the list?? I think they might find that they hate “Wonder” the most in the long run, when they have to use it for everything related to the mission. The Wonder Rover. The Wonder Launch. The Wonder Landing. The WONDER YEARS. No, just no…

  5. Nat Says:

    I’m totally voting for Journey.

    But only if it has that Filipino guy singing. He’s awesome. He does a better Steve Perry than Steve Perry does.

  6. Hey Bro,

    Obviously, you have seen this Onion coverage of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon:

  7. madscientist Says:

    Did you know that the first space shuttle was called “Enterprise”? Guess what it was named after….

    The last shuttle was named “Endeavour”, because it was one of the most popular names submitted by children after the Challenger accident. NASA has a tendency to do these types of things….

  8. I suggest the rover should be known either as “Heinlein” or as “Valentine Michael Smith”.

  9. leigh Says:

    she took the midnight mars-rover-exploration-doohickey goin’ anywhereeeeeee

  10. Joanna Says:

    I vote for Frank!

  11. Ben Lillie Says:

    Oh puck, you’re forgetting OWL, the “OverWhelmingly Large telescope”. That’s comic genius.

    Amelia isn’t bad for a second grader (presumably from Earhart?). Given the number of Mars probes that have vanished, it’s either perfect or exactly wrong.

  12. If this one is Amelia, it will be MANDATORY to call the next one Bedelia.

  13. 'cheweasel Says:

    Heinlein? Isn’t that farkknob the scifi dweebs’ Ayn Rand? That dude, right?

  14. JLK Says:

    Dammit. I thought for sure that Colbert was gonna win this one, like that bridge in whateverthefuck country he managed to get named after him.

    Stupid NASA.

  15. Odyssey Says:

    I vote for the Amelia Rover Sunrise Explorer. ARSE for short.

  16. Nan Says:

    If we’re going to suggest names associated with Heinlein, Willis would get my vote before VMS.

  17. Toaster Says:

    Old explorer names were nominally cooler: Viking, Apollo, Orion, …er, Voyager. It’s like we used to be all “Hell yeah, let’s fuckin’ conquer outer space!” and now we’re only “Well, maybe we should explore it!” I vote THOR!

    As an aside, wouldn’t it be much more efficient/rational/smart for NASA to standardize a rover chassis and an orbiter chassis so that they could roll them off the line faster and cheaper and not have to buy all custom parts every single time? It’s like harvesting your own deep-sea vent worms each time you need Taq polymerase.

  18. Amelia isn’t bad for a second grader (presumably from Earhart?). Given the number of Mars probes that have vanished, it’s either perfect or exactly wrong.


    I’m sorry. But I can’t help it. I have an engineer friend at JPL. I think of Mars Climate Orbiter, and I must laugh. Even if I’m not malicious by nature.

    In eighth grade, I asked my Earth Science teacher, “If other stars are ‘suns’ to their planets, and if the surface of another planet is ‘earth’, then why can’t our sun have a name like ‘Bellatrix’, and Earth a better name than ‘Earth’?” I only said it because I was feeling unwontedly chipper for my miserable junior high self that day. I promptly wilted under her grouchy glare.

    So unreasonable, she. Given her propensity to tell stories about receiving bare pieces of asbestos to play with back in her “earth science” class in 1899. I was merely hankering after a little creativity. That shit that scientists supposedly divest themselves of, along with the ability to have pleasant dinner conversations and sex with attractive people.

    I vote for “Journey”. “Don’t Stop Believing” is the only song that’s keeping me going, these days.

  19. Peter H Says:

    NASA is probably worried because of this:

    It seems that Colbert fans jammed their competition for naming the new Node 3 of the International Space Station by writing in his name more than 115,000 times….

    They’ve closed the competition and it appears that “Colbert” won, but they haven’t announced if they’ll honor the votes or not….

    Therefore, they probably don’t want a repeat of that! Who knows what the eleventy crowd could come up with for a write-in?

  20. […] there’s a vote to name the next Mars rover (via. PhysioProf). The names are a bit… flat. Vision. Pursuit. Journey. Yeah, yeah, they were sent in by […]

  21. I get it now. Everything outrages you.

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