Mission to the Sun

When President George W. Bush announced his bold new space initiative, attention naturally focused on the exciting goal of landing a man on Mars by 2030. Overlooked in all the hullabaloo, however, was his additional plan for a mission to the sun. Here is what he had to say:

We also need to explore our most powerful neighbor in the solar system, the sun. The sun is hot, over a million degrees; and those are scientific type degrees, which are even hotter than regular degrees. Because of this, man will never walk on the sun in our lifetime. Instead, we will send our loyal robotic servants to explore planet Sol in our place. Just as the rover “Spirit” roams Mars even as we speak, so we shall build new robotic vehicles to explore the sun.

The purpose of our solar explorations will be to tap into the sun's unimaginable energy resources in order to become free of our dependency on fossil fuels here on earth. Our administration has been accused of being reluctant to explore renewable energy options, but this program will prove our naysayers wrong. We will award contracts to companies like Haliburton to develop robotic methods to drill for solar energy on the surface of the sun. Huge space tankers will be built to transport the solar energy across hundreds of miles of empty space to low earth orbit. From docking stations in geosynchronous orbit, pipelines will carry the solar energy down to our green planet's surface, where companies like Kenron, recently formed by my friend Ken Lay, will distribute it to needy customers around the world at mere fractions of a cent per kilowatt. Nor will we stop at solar energy. To conserve the inexhaustible solar energetic resources of the sun for usage here on earth, the power requirements of the drilling robots will be supplied by windmills which will harness the solar winds. It is also possible that water will be found on or beneath the surface of the sun. If we find a mighty solar river, we will say, “Damn it!” and harness it for energy as well. Nor will fuel cell technology be ignored; although only research based on the nine existing lines of fuel cells will be permitted. Finally, I've been told that the sun has the largest nuclear reactor in the solar system; if we can find it, we'll shut it down and move it back here to earth.

This new solar power industry will provide thousands of new jobs to the American economy. Job growth will be especially strong for our people of color, since they are less at risk of the hazards involved in this technology. Us Caucasians sunburn so easily!

Solar exploration will not be the sole province of America. No, a cooperative international effort will be needed to meet the challenges and support the costs of this endeavor. Already the Polish space agency is exploring means of dealing with the unendurable temperatures of the solar sun, using a concept of going there in the nighttime. Our Russian friends will take the lead in the initial stages of the program, of course, since they currently have the only reliable launch vehicles. Unfortunately our staunch coalition ally, Great Britian, has declined to participate because they have never actually seen the sun from their fair country.

I hope all Americans will support me in this bold effort to harness the limitless energies of the sun to bring us all a brighter future. Thank you and God Bless America!”

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