Deep Space 1969

Nick Martens looks at some of NASA’s lesser-known missions from the ’60s.

Challenge: Launch Control Center feeling a little uptight.

Mission: Bring in normal brownies but trick Dan into thinking they’re “special.” Dan will tell everyone (because, duh, it’s Dan), and they’ll convince themselves they’re high. Trust me, I read an article about the placebo effect and I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.


Outcome: Dude, I can’t believe that worked.

Challenge: Ted’s go-kart was super fun for a couple weeks, but now we’re all sick of it.

Mission: We’re fucking NASA right? Let’s turn it into a rad flying go-kart! Holy shit, this is the most amazing idea ever. We’re going to be millionaires.


Outcome: Look Ted, I know it’s a long time to be in the hospital, but you’ve got awesome workman’s comp, and you’ll probably walk again. And I really think if we just added a couple more stabilizing wires — Hey, dude, don’t be like that!

Challenge: Did we seriously name our space capsule “Friendship 7″?

Mission: Send John in there to figure out what the hell we were on. Better put him in the suit too. God knows what he’s gonna find.


Outcome: Oh yeah, that was the night Ted noticed the capsule looked like a huge bong. Hey, I don’t like the name either, but you gotta admit, shit got pretty friendly. I can’t believe the thing fit seven people.

Challenge: Vertical rocket launches getting sorta boring.

Mission: Build fucking sweet diagonal rocket.


Outcome: Fucking sweet!

Challenge: Atypical acid flashbacks causing crew and staff to see Richard Nixon everywhere.

Mission: Ted says that Timothy Leary eats quinoa, raw wild mushrooms, and lemon juice to purge his body of residual toxins. So we’re gonna give that a shot.


Outcome: Turns out Richard Nixon was actually here for like a week. Now he thinks the whole program is really weird. Could raise funding issues in the future.

Challenge: Bummed out by how lame our program looks compared to the last 20 minutes of 2001.

Mission: Do you think we can hire that cool effects guy Kubrick used? Why not? Well, there’s no direct connection to any active missions, but our public perception… Okay, fine. Fuck it. I’ll just get Dan to do it. He’s got a camera.


Outcome: I think Dan just put some Carmex on the lens, but I kinda dig it.

Challenge: Guys, we are poisoning Mother Earth by burning all this rocket fuel.

Mission: Solar glider bikes?


Outcome: C’mon Ted, just give it one shot. I promise it won’t be like last time. This thing barely even gets off the ground man!

Challenge: These five rich guys all want to break ground on our new Research Analysis Center, but we only have one shovel head.

Mission: No worries, dude. I got this one.


Outcome: Perfect.

Photos courtesy of NASA on The Commons

Nick Martens is a founding editor of The Bygone Bureau. You can email him, if you like.