When NASA’s LCROSS satellite crashed into the moon last week, it tweeted a classic passage from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
As Nasa’s LCROSS spacecraft travelled towards the moon at more than 9,000 kilometres per hour on Friday afternoon, it tweeted in the whale’s words: “And what’s this thing coming toward me very fast? So big and flat and round … it needs a big wide sounding name like ‘Ow’, ‘Ownge’, ‘Round’, ‘Ground’! … That’s it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it’ll be friends with me?”
Then it crashed into the moon, unfortunately failing to produce the 10km plume of dust and rock which could have been scanned for evidence of frozen water. Nasa made no mention of Adams’s bowl of petunias, which thought only “Oh no, not again” as it tumbled towards Magrathea.
And who says that scientists don’t have a sense of humor?
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