They're Learning To Turn Animals Into Rocket Fuel
Not every plot NASA hatches is directly about space. They also dabble in things like alternative fuels. After all, rocket fuel is expensive, and our current oil resources are finite. And it's not like they can just solve the issue by figuring out how to turn something like, ha, chickens into fuel.
Wait. T-they can do that?
"Fuck. I mean, cluck."
Yep! In 2011, NASA figured out a recipe for a clean and relatively green biofuel which uses animal fat as its chief ingredient. The press release just name-drops chicken, but the fuel apparently uses both chicken and beef tallow. Which seems kind of unfair, but at least it leaves pigs out of the equation. Even NASA knows better than to sacrifice bacon on the altar of space research.
The project appears to have gone silent since 2011, which I take to mean that either someone sat the space agency down and carefully explained that no star exploration will ever be worth ridding people of their steaks and chicken nuggets, or they're still trying to Frankenstein up an optimal recipe for the fuel, and our next trip to the Moon will be fueled by the distilled essence of a bunch of armadillos and the mortal remains of Harambe. Or maybe the concoction just isn't cost-effective enough. Whatever the reason, my advice remains the same: NASA, since you're already at the "Let's stuff a tiger in the tank" phase of your fuel research, please just learn to make fuel from spiders. Everyone would win. Me in particular.
They Use Dead Bodies To Test Their Spacecraft
Let's say you're a plucky 12-year-old kid who wouldn't be out of place as a supporting character on Stranger Things. It's a boring Saturday afternoon, and you're doing what you always do in such occasions: roaming the hills in search of adventure. Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you see a gleam of metal in the sky. Being the space expert all 12-year-olds of the world somehow always are, you recognize the strange object parachuting towards you as a NASA landing capsule. Holy balls! You're about to meet a real astronaut!
As the capsule lands and you impatiently pry open its door, you're greeted with a godawful stench which reminds you of your grandmother's open-casket funeral during the hottest day of July. The visage of the man inside the vessel matches the smell. Clearly, he's been dead for quite some time. There are no heroic meetings for you here, son. Go, run like the wind and warn the town. The space zombies are coming!
"Uh, the correct term is 'extraplanetarily deceased.'"
If you think of the context, it's not a terrible surprise that NASA has been known to use human cadavers to test its crafts. After all, corpse testing has played an important, if understandably understated role, in the safety testing of cars. NASA has been known to take a similar approach when developing new spacecraft, up to and very much including their newest Orion capsule. If they need to test a feature and a crash test dummy just can't provide enough data, they fucking well will strap a cadaver into their ultra-modern technology and take notes.
And you know what? As gross and terrifying as it may seem, I'm not even mad about it. Say what you want about humanity, but it's pretty damn hard to believe any other maniac species out there would ever consider strapping dead bodies to vehicles that are meant to take live bodies to an environment specifically designed to kill them, just because we want to go to places and we won't take no for an answer. Aaaand now I kind of want to donate my own body for this. As long as it's for a test that doesn't feature those fucking spiders.
Watch out for the giant urine icicle floating through space in 6 Insane Space Stories You Didn't Learn In History Class and see what parts of "The Martian" happened for real in 6 Insane Things About Space Travel That Movies Got Right.
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