What if Microsoft and Apple took us to Mars?By Robert McMillen, Koin’s Tech Guru
This is sort of a departure from my usual question and answer blog, but I had a thought (uh oh). Some of you will get the joke and some will scratch their head and walk away unfulfilled. Life is like a box of something, but it’s not always chocolates.
Voyager 1 has just about escaped our heliosphere (the bubble that is the outer reaches of our sun’s protection for the solar system). It did this with no hard drive and enough memory and code to fill up a couple of Twitter messages.
It also did it with basically rubber bands and tinfoil for hardware. IBM created the computer portion, which using today’s standards would be nothing more than recycling material. It might even qualify for a “cash for clunkers” deal. But it’s out there. Still running and sending back signals along with its brother (running the same hardware) Voyager 2 going the opposite direction.
The space race with Russia is over but for some strange reason we are now in a space race with China to go back to the moon. Maybe we should think about Mars? Microsoft and Apple are already partners with China and the United States, so it just makes sense.
I wonder how it would turn out if it was Apple and Microsoft battling it out for the race to Mars?
Microsoft’s plan to go to Mars: “Our first objective is to create a name for the spacecraft. We estimate this will take six to eight years. With the time we have left we will be build the space launch vehicle. Our projected launch date is 2020. The actual launch date will be 2030. The software that runs the craft will be updated multiple times during the flight (provided a stable internet connection is available).”
Apple’s Plan to go to Mars: “We will create a spectacular space vehicle. Our projected launch date will be 2020. We will spread a rumor the launch date will be 2016. The actual launch date will be 2015. Secrecy is the key to a successful mission and marketing plan. The vehicle will be see-through and made out of a space-age heat-resistant acrylic in the shape of an apple.”
Once our heroes get to the planet they will need to have an objective. Otherwise, you’re just going there to say you did, and that’s not the Corporate American way.
Microsoft’s objectives on Mars: “Our objective will be to avoid blowing up the planet. We hope to breed life on Mars by releasing viruses collected from Windows operating systems over the last 25 years. If the planet does blow up from the release of all these viruses, it will be unavoidable, but we still have other planets we could visit and try not to blow up.”
Apple’s objectives on Mars: “Our objective will be to find a spot on Mars that’s large enough and empty enough for the expansion of Steve Job’s brain. He has run out of expansion ability here on Earth due to climate change (Al Gore has discovered Steve’s brain is the cause for global warming). Apple will transplant 100 million Chinese factory workers to Mars to create the next big invention, the Apple Wireless Death Star. It will be an actual working Death Star (with Apple TV capability), and it will run OS 10 Sphynx Hairless. It will sell at Walmart for $420,000,000,000. The shareholders will love it.”
This is all very exciting, but of course we need to come back to Earth eventually.
Microsoft’s plan to return to Earth safely: “First, we need to train our astronauts to start the craft by hitting the shutdown button. The menu style and controls will shift many times during the flight. Although the astronauts may find this frustrating it will be done to make the flight more efficient and keep them from falling asleep. If the spacecraft crashes they can simply call Houston for support. Houston will be relocated to China to save money. Houston’s Mandarin staff will be trained to say ‘y’all’ at the end of each helpful statement. We will splash down safely in the Redmond Ocean where helicopters will whoosh our heroes to the White House for a lunch with the Obamas.”
Apple’s plan to return to Earth safely: “We only plan to return robots back to Earth with new and innovative products to sell. Everyone else will live a happy and fruitful life in the Apple Mars factory.”
There you have it. Two very different approaches to what is seemingly the same mission. Not only will tax payers not have to pay for this mission, it will stimulate our economy by creating new and innovative products. We will also have a new dumping ground for our old viruses and whatnot.
For those of you concerned about the Linux entry, it never quite got off the ground due to the millions of people all programming a different part of the mission, and it was underfunded because their budget was $0.
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