China sent their unmanned lunar probe Chang’e II (nickname: Moon Safari?) skywards last Friday, packing the usual assortment of stereo cameras, laser spectrometers and microwave detectors to scour the lunar surface as it orbits the moon for six months or better. What it didn’t take with it, however, was a few large chunks of its launch rocket. These fell to earth two days later, landing in a rural part of Jiangxi, China.
Villagers thought they were being struck by an earthquake as the debris crashed down. Luckily, no one was hurt and no structures were impacted. While snarkier blogs than this one will no doubt bag on China’s devil-may-care approach to space debris management, I’m just glad no one was hurt. Besides, there’s not a space program out there (not even Mr. Veer’s), that has its hands completely clean.
Take a closer look at the above photo for the real story, however. Can anyone spot the time-traveling member of Starfleet hanging out with a knowing grin?
C’mon. The evidence is all there.
- He’s bald. The future belongs to the follicly neglected.
- There’s a shiny communicator pin on his left pec.
- His uniform color seems to indicate he’s some kind of medical officer (help me out here, Trekkies, it’s been awhile), an obvious choice to send back on a mission of peace.
I’m just disappointed they didn’t send Worf.
The only mysterious bit is his smoking. Can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone lighting up on the USS Enterprise or even in the shady corridors of Deep Space 9. Maybe it’s one of those things you indulge in as a man from the future when you’re hanging out in primitive cultures, kind of like how it’s OK to drink Beast Ice when you’re back in the sticks with your high school buddies for Thanksgiving or something.
Mysteries upon mysteries. Readers: keep me posted if you see this guy hanging out in the frame of any other rocket crashes, meteorite landings, or swap meets.
THAT’S HOW YOU MOON SAFARI, MAAAAAAN!
Photo from news.163.com