It’s difficult to keep up with advances in space exploration technology, especially considering the confusingly technical nature of these advances. So in order to keep apprised of these changes and report on them with folksy charm, I’ve enlisted the help of a standard model J-573 Mark Twain robot. As with other J-series models, this 573 unit has retained its caustic wit program but, thankfully, its political correctness meter was adjusted in 2010 to weed out the use of any contextually inappropriate verbiage. So, here “he” is to talk about preparations for the launch of NASA/NOAA‘s GOES-R satellite:
“I arrived in Littleton, Colorado on the tenth day of the new year with a great deal of expectation. Besides being thrilled at the prospect of seeing an elementary school named for my non-robotic counterpart, during my journey through Colorado my wireless system intercepted a mess of advertisements noting the exceptional qualities of the Lockheed Martin Autonomous Systems facility at which NASA and NOAA’s GOES-R satellite is being prepared for its imminent launch. Upon crossing the town line, my hydraulic lift system seized—I can only imagine why, although I had been trekking across these United States in the dead of winter clothed in nothing but a thin coat of wind-resistant oil-based varnish and a mathematically-perfected bow tie. My hydraulic disorder was, thankfully, short-lived though as upon my arrival at the Autonomous Systems facility I was treated to a complimentary fluid change and inspection. After my tune-up was complete I scanned the facility’s computer network for data on the purpose and progress of the GOES-R satellite’s construction and launch. The facility’s computer having also been assembled in the town of Florida, Missouri, I must admit that we chatted a fair bit.
Good day! I’ve been wondering: what is the purpose is of NASA/NOAA’s GOES-R satellite project?
ASM (Autonomous Systems Mainframe):
THE GOES-R SATELLITE WILL ALLOW SCIENTISTS AT NASA & NOAA TO BETTER STUDY AND FORECAST ENVIRONMENTAL PHENOMENA. THE “R” SERIES IS THE MOST RECENT INCARNATION OF THE GOES (GEOSTATIONARY OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL SATELLITES) PROJECT, THE FIRST OF WHICH WAS LAUNCHED ON OCTOBER 16th, 1975.
Wonderful, just wonderful. Is there anything more that you can tell me about the project?
IMPROVEMENTS IN INSTRUMENTATION WILL OFFER ADVANCED IMAGING WITH INCREASED RESOLUTION AND FASTER COVERAGE FOR MORE ACCURATE FORECASTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL PHENOMENA LIKE: SEVERE STORMS, FOG, FIRE, AEROSOLS AND VOLCANIC ASH, AS WELL AS REAL-TIME MAPPING OF LIGHTNING ACTIVITY. THE INSTRUMENTS WILL ALSO ENABLE NOAA’s SPACE WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE FORECASTS OF SPACE WEATHER HAZARDS. SCHEDULED LAUNCH: OCTOBER, 2016.
Well that would certainly be welcome. If I’d been able to accurately predict today’s weather, I might have applied a thicker varnish before engaging my drive shaft on such a cold, windy day. Autonomous Systems Mainframe, do you think that this project will reawaken the public’s latent interest in space exploration?
DOES NOT COMPUTE.
Too true. Too true.
Having completed the business portion of our interview, the Autonomous Systems Mainframe and I relaxed, both by performing complex computations and by partaking in a fine bottle of Stranahan’s, the Autonomous Systems Mainframe the former and I the latter.”