Mother’s Day is here, again. And again, I find myself with an opportunity to brag about some of the great women in […]Read More
Mint ice cream belongs on the moon
I’ve seen Hidden Figures, I know how NASA got to the moon. Women. Really sharp, highly motivated women. I’m floored – absolutely floored – that NASA took another 50-odd years to publicly acknowledge and openly embrace the value of the “woman” strategy. Sisters of Anarchy Ice Cream adopted it somewhere within the first five minutes.
Now that it is being openly discussed, it is rather shocking that it was ever controversial. At its most basic, it all comes down to mint ice cream. Or rather, it comes down to calories and the burn rate of mint ice cream. In last year’s NASA-funded research project called HI-SEAS, simulating a long-term mission to Mars, the three female astronauts consistently burned somewhat less than 2/3 the daily calories of their fellow astronauts of the male persuasion. For every 3 pounds of mint ice cream consumed by the males, less than 2 pounds for the females. In a week, 21 pounds of mint ice cream for males, less than 14 for females. Over a period of six months? Transported across an average Earth to Mars distance of 140 million miles? That’s approx. an additional 200 pounds of mint ice cream, another whole male, and perhaps 1.5 female, astronauts, being pushed through space, day after day, for 140 million miles.
Yes, NASA will need to produce more than a couple down-sized space suits. Yes, NASA, or SpaceX, will need to consider any number of re-designs, for launch chairs, surface rovers, flight controls, tools, and so on. But look what they get in return:
Smaller, lighter astronauts = more available payload for the same fuel consumption
Even more available payload due to less need for food, water, and breathable air transport
Astronauts with more of a natural affinity for teamwork and mutual support (just sayin’)
The mint ice cream more likely to be equitably shared, and to last longer
So give thanks for brave women, and for their willingness to sit on top of a rocket and cross hundreds of millions of miles of space vacuum, going for the science, for the sake of giving humanity some options, and for the sheer hell of the adventure. May all our daughters do the same. Happy Thanksgiving.