But even if we manage to baby-proof everything and come up with some sort of, I don't know, hose system for diaper changing, space just ain't no place for children. You can't make babies exercise the way adults do, which plays merry hell with their physique in a weightless environment. How space radiation and other fun elements of interplanetary travel will mess with them is anyone's guess. Oh, and at the moment, scientists aren't even sure if it's possible to conceive a child in space, at least in the usual way.
Pixabay Public Domain
Thanks to sites like the ones that I'm involved with, it's hard to go without the internet for any length of time. The average Western person is so used to having all the knowledge in the world at our fingertips that the very thought of getting that power stripped away is like losing a limb. No one wants to go in space -- or, for that matter, anywhere -- without that shit these days. With that in mind, I come to potential space-dwellers bearing good and bad news. The good news: There is internet in space, brought to you with the complex science-magic of satellite configurations and lasers. The bad news: It's at least as slow as dial-up.
"Thought you were rid of me, huh?"
Further strengthening its claim as the herpes of online connections, dial-up's back -- in speed and spirit, if not in actual technology -- as Space's official internet connection for the last five years or so. What's more, the internet capacity the International Space Station enjoys is fairly rudimentary: Emails, news, Twitter and the occasional video call. Can't read Cracked in space (though if I'm wrong and an astronaut aboard the ISS happens to read this, holy shit, please let me know. Also, hi!).
The main issue here is distance. While the ISS itself is only an average of 254 miles away, there's a whole lot of signal traveling. So, if an astronaut clicks this link in space, the request will travel 22,000 miles to a network of geosynchronous satellites, which send it down to an earth-based receiver, which processes it and returns the response. That's a whole lot of waiting time to realize you've just been Rickrolled.
In related news, if I don't have a column out next week, that means the ISS have a secret death ray.
Luckily, science fully recognizes the situation and is working its ass off to rectify it for aspiring space travelers. There's talk of a functional interplanetary internet, spearheaded by internet luminary Vint Cerf. They're developing completely new series of protocols and storing methods that will one day hopefully be able to bring Mars colonists a comparatively speedy internet access from Earth. Whether this is for their comfort and convenience or whether this is for the constant stream of cat videos that will pacify any chance of a Mars colony secession and uprising is up for speculation.
Pauli Poisuo is a Cracked weekly columnist and freelance editor. Here he is on Facebook and Twitter.
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