In space, no one can hear you scream.
Remembering my dreams has never been a problem for me. Almost as soon as Caleb wakes up, he’s already forgotten his dreams. I, on the other hand, usually remember at least one or two. The other night, I dreamed that Caleb, Abbey, and I were going on vacation. Our first stop was going to be Vegas. We weren’t gambling, though. Oh no–we were going to Vegas to catch a space ship up to the International Space Station. That sounds pretty lame, but in my dream they had restaurants, a shopping mall, entertainment, and a pool. It was basically like a cruise, but only in space. I was packing mine and Caleb’s stuff over at Abbey’s, and I was feeling pretty excited about the whole thing. I was imagining us having an excellent vacation, and then that’s when I suddenly remembered that space fucking terrifies me. My excitement took a nose-dive and turned straight into blinding panic, but I felt that I had invested too much time and effort into this and my friends would be pissed. So I had to go along with it and pretend that I was as pumped as my friends were. I was so relieved when I woke up with no immediate plans to leave the atmosphere.
Now you might be thinking, ‘But Haley, space is the final frontier. I would kill for a chance to see it for myself.’ And then that would lead me to think that you are naive and have not thought out the many horrible, agonizing ways your feeble little human body could be annihilated in such harsh conditions.
So that brings me to the meat and potatoes of this post. I think it is my responsibility to let all you trekkies, Star Wars fans, and various other space-lovin’ fools some real talk–as the kids say.
3 (Strong )Reasons We Should Stay the Hell Out of Space!!
1. In case you missed out on this somehow, there’s no air up there.
-It’s not like how, say, when you’re underwater there’s no air. When you’re swimming, you can just hold your breath and be fine. This does not apply in space. Space is a vacuum. You can’t just hold your breath and politely wait for Hal to open the bay doors. The first think you can expect to happen is the expansion of gasses inside your lungs and digestive tract. If too much air is inside your lungs, eventually they rupture and spew air bubbles into your blood stream which kills you. If you’re lucky enough to make it through that part, the next thing you have to look forward to is the effect that open space has on water. The vacuum causes water to convert into vapor so you can expect the water in your mouth, eyes, and muscles to begin boiling away. Your muscles will then swell to about roughly twice their normal size. While all this is going on, the nitrogen in your blood begins to form painful, gaseous bubbles. A minute or so later, you’ll begin to lose consciousness because the lack of air pressure screws up the gas exchange of the lungs and deprives you of oxygen. If your dumbass doesn’t get rescued within about the next 90 seconds, your blood begins to boil. Obviously, this last part is what does you in. I’ve tried to think of a more horrific, unnatural way to go and I just can’t do it.
2. Tons of Other Lethal Shit
-So in addition to being asphyxiated and having your blood boil inside of your veins, space is filled with all sorts of other ways to generally fuck you up. All of these pretty much relate to the fact that there’s no air up there. For one, temperatures go from one extreme to another in the emptiness of space. One moment you could be exposed to freezing temperatures, and the next suffer severe burns from being in direct contact with sunlight. Let’s also not forget the other types of radiation you could be exposed to in the forms of gamma and cosmic rays which I guess also suck, but that’s kind of over my head. Another huge hazard when you’re out there floating around in the middle of a black abyss comes in the form of space debris. See, not only have we left a bunch of old, metal crap up there from previous excursions, but the naturally occurring asteroids, meteorite, and even tiny particles become a problem. Apparently, a particle of dirt the size of a paint chip is enough to disable your entire space ship should they collide. Movies make it appear as though space junk just floats around aimlessly, but in reality, they fly around at nearly 17, 500mph! That could be disastrous if you’re traveling at the same speed and hit each other head-on. You also have to take into consideration that if you have some sort of malfunction and lose the ability to steer or control the movement of the ship, you’re going to be careening through space at that speed with nothing to stop you but running into something else. Space ships need surprisingly little fuel when you actually think about it. The lack of friction in space means that once you get the ship up to its full speed, you can cut the acceleration and it will fly on its own. So if something breaks, or you run out of fuel needed to bring the ship to a stop, you’re screwed. In addition to having no friction, space also contains no humidity or moisture. That means that little shocks of static electricity that are irritating on earth become deadly in space. Scientists believe they can get strong enough to short-circuit life-saving equipment. Seriously, I could go on and on here, but let’s discuss another subject that I think perhaps sums this all up best.
3. I Don’t Want Other Things Knowing We’re Here
-So. Aliens. Maybe it sounds absurd to you to even consider the possibility, but I think it’s a good one. Statistically speaking, when the vastness of the supposedly ever-expanding universe is examined, it’s hard for me to believe that there couldn’t be some form of other life out there. Richard Dawkins actually makes an astonishing point on this in his book, The God Delusion.
“It has been estimated that there are between 1 billion and 30 billion planets in our galaxy, and about 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Knocking a few noughts off for reasons of ordinary prudence, a billion billion is a conservative estimate of the number of available planets in the universe. Now, suppose the origin of life, the spontaneous arising of something equivalent to DNA, really was a quite staggeringly improbable event. Suppose it was so improbable as to occur on only one in a billion planets….And yet…even with such absurdly long odds, life will still have arisen on a billion planets–of which Earth, of course, is one.” (Dawkins 165).
Do you know what this tells me? It tells me that somewhere, something is living out there amongst us. They could be the friendliest lifeforms in the galaxy–I don’t care! ‘Cause there’s also a chance that they could be just.like.us. (God help us.) Yeah, it’s cliche, but I think the possibility of aliens wanting to jack our shit is pretty realistic. Think about it, if we were dying off because we lost one of our natural resources, but we found a crappy little planet with some primitive life-form…do you really think we wouldn’t go traditional White-American style on their asses and take over the land?! I know we would, and I bet they would too. Just by existing we have proven that earth is an environment that promotes life and that makes us a target. But, hey, maybe they don’t need our resources because their superior planet is doing so well. In that case, they’ll probably just take us and experiment on our bodies to see what the hell we are and where we came from. That’s pretty much what we’ve done with every single species on our planet. I just…I know how excited and stupid we would be about finding other life-forms out there, so I can only imagine that if a more intelligent race were to ever stumble upon us, they would feel the same. I don’t wanna be probed, you guys.
That’s really all I have to say on the subject. If you need more convincing, perhaps you should look more into it. Or perhaps there is just no hope for you. Either way, I plan to remain on terra firma unless I just have no other choice. And even then I’m taking some cyanide pills along just in case.