Resuscitation science, pt. II

Soldier-robot love

NASA’s incredibly weird return-to-the-moon video

Check it out: NASA has released a CGI-animated trailer promoting our eventual return to the moon. Stylistically, as sliabh notes:

Someone at NASA has been watching way too many Battlestar Galactica and Firefly reruns …

Heh. Actually, what really cracked me up was how strangely threatening the video seemed. There’s all this creepy, minor-key horror-movie music, combined with bleed-in text that ominously proclaims: “We took a giant leap … we stopped … we’re going back.” Then there’s a shot of a lunar vessel approaching and impassively snapping pix through its single HAL-like eye. Then boom! It’s all action, with a bunch of rovers thundering across the lunar surface like beetles while launch-ships swirl overhead, all set to unsettlingly thumpy action music. It feels precisely like the trailer to the upcoming Transformers movie … except in this case the invading, marauding aliens are us. Why, yes, we humans are returning to the moon — because we’re gonna dismantle it and SLAUGHTER ANYTHING IN OUR PATH.

Seriously, it’s super weird. Did NASA actually intend this to seem so, uh, apocalyptic? The whole segment appears to have been shot not from the point of view of us optimistic, yay-for-space-exploration geeks, but from the point of view of some nameless, gentle race of peaceable moon inhabitants who are about to get totally vaporized by a ruthless horde of colonizing, gibbering humans.

(Thanks to sliabh for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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