To Visit the Moon

Page 1

A Gay’s Guide to Space Travel

TO VISIT THE

MOON

by Devin Wilson



“a lonely dreamer who develops an impossible project: to fly alone in cosmic space.� - Boris Groys


This book is dedicated to the Moon, for always being there. Thanks Moon.



FINAL EDITION

ANOTHER APOLLO EXPEDITION TO THE MOON APRIL 24, 2020

Prepared by: Devin G. Wilson

Edited by: Catherine A. Evans


Table of Contents 01

Introduction

05

Preparation

Spacesuit

07

Preparation

Rocketship Preparation

17 30

Launch Site The Queer Utopia that is Cosmic Space

37

Moon Landing

Research

41 43 48

An Impossible Mission Media Coverage Bibliography


Introduction

It’s not rocket science, except it is. Day 1, 2020. 11:36 PM: Due to the current global pandemic, I was forced to relocate to my parents’ home in Central Pennsylvania. It’s the only place in the world that seems to stand still. I am sick of standing still. Unable to escape the monotony that is day-to-day life in self-isolation. I decided to take the initiative to get out anyway possible. So, being that I was confined indoors, I climb out of my bedroom window and onto the roof of my parents’ house. I looked up at the sky to see the Moon. It’s waxing, or is it waning. Waxing. Although I had to look up the answer on Google. The Moon remains a constant, always the same distance from my roof every night. 238,900 miles away from Earth to be exact. It seems further than that. I have always had a fascination with space, and wonders of the universe. It has a sort of alluring quality: the unknown. Recently, I have been interested in the 1969 Moon landing and the controversial opinions on its validity. I believe in the Moon landing, or I want to believe that it is somehow possible that we can escape Earth. I want to escape Earth.

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Day 2, 2020. 12:01 AM: Once again, I find myself, alone, on my parent’s roof, staring up at the sky. I had an insane idea today. What if I were to leave Earth and go to the Moon? Crazy, I know, maybe even impossible, but what if? What would it take to visit the Moon? Would I have to build a rocket ship that could propel me into the depths of space, or a slingshot that could shoot me out of my apartment? None of which seem plausible. As an amateur, with absolutely no background in rocket science, I have no idea what I am doing. With NASA suspending its current expedition to the Moon, it’s highly unlikely they will be willing to give me a ride. So, I decided to do the impossible, create my own expedition to the Moon. I have decided to document my journey along the way. These logs will be an auto-documentary of my research, ideas, and methodologies into my planned expedition to the Moon. At what age is it too late to want to be an astronaut when I grow up? I’m 22.

Day 3, 2020. 10:57 PM: If I am actually going to travel to the Moon, I need to do some extensive research. I have spent most of my day looking over the documents created by NASA around the Apollo 11 Moon landing. As you can probably tell, I am not a scientist so these documents are almost indiscernible. Since I can’t understand most of the statistical data, I spent the better part of 9 hours just looking at the photos in the flight manual. As of right now, I have looked through 10 books, 20 pages off the NASA site, and scrolled through Twitter twice. If I am actually going to get to the Moon, I need to be more concise with my time. I need to start with the basics and compile a checklist for my expedition to the Moon.

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Preparation: Spacesuit

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“designed to protect the crewman in low-pressure, micrometeorrid, and thermal enviroment... during lunar-surface or free-space operations outside of the spacecraft” Day 4, 2020. 10:03 PM: Step 1. Figure out how to engineer a spacesuit. Due to lack of supplies and knowledge on how to design a functional spacesuit, I won’t actually know if my spacesuit is NASA approved until I get to space, and, at that point, it will be too late to make any necessary adjustments. But, I remain optimistic that I won’t suffocate. According to NASA, “The spacesuit for Apollo 11 needed to provide protection from the vacuum of space and extreme temperatures crew members would face while working outside the vehicle yet be flexible enough to allow adequate mobility especially on the lunar suffice.” Seeing that I currently do not have access to lunar simulations, the suit I have created will have to suffice. Even if I wind up suffocating on the Moon, at least my corpse will be the most fashionable satellite in space.

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Preparation: Rocketship

Designing a Spacecraft Day 5, 2020. 9:47 PM: Step 2. Design a rocketship that is capable of getting me to the Moon. Designing a spacecraft is the easy part. How am I going to recreate a 363 foot tall rocketship in my backyard, and conceal it from the government? Because I think galactic space travel falls under our current travel restrictions. Not only do I have to construct a rocket the size of a skyscraper, but I think I will have to commit at least 10 felonies to do so. Not only does my spacecraft need to be able to propel me past Earth's Atmosphere, but it needs to be able to withstand the 76 hour journey it takes to enter lunar orbit. 75 more hours than I would want to spend trapped in what was essentially a flying metal buttplug.

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CYPARISSUS LAUNCH ESCAPE SYSTEM

COMMAND MODULE

SERVICE MODULE

F I R S T

S TAGE

S E COND S TAGE

TH I RD S TAGE

HYACINTH LUNAR MODULE

FUEL TANKS

DUAL THRUSTED ENGINES

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ANOTHER APPOLO DOCKING MOUNT THE TIP

CRUSING WINDOW COCK P I T

C OMM A N D

MO D U L E

AFT COMPARTMENT

SERVICE HATCH

ELECTRICAL POWER SUPPLY RADIATORS

S E RV I C E

REACTION CONTROL THRUSTER ASSEMBLY (4 LOCATIONS)

MO D U L E SERVICE PROPULSION ENGINE NOZZLE HIGH-FREQUENCY (DEEP SPACE) ANTENNA

PREVENTATIVE BASE

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HYACINTH LUNAR MODULE

ANTENNA

STEVE ANTENNA RENDEZVOUS RADAR ANTENNA

CRUSING WINDOW THRUST CHAMBER ASSEMBLY CLUSTER

FRONT HATCH

LANDING GEAR

LADDER

LANDING PROBE

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Apollo 11 Design Research Command Module Specifications • • • • •

Height: 3.2 m (10 ft 7 in) Maximum Diameter: 3.9 m (12 ft 10 in) Weight: 5,900 kg (13,000 lb) Manufacturer: North American Rockwell for NASA Launch Vehicle: Saturn V

Lunar Module Specifications • • • • • • • • •

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Weight (empty): 3920 kg (8650 lb) Weight (with Crew & Propellant): 14,700 kg (32,500 lb) Height: 7.0 m (22 ft 11 in) Width: 9.4 m (31 ft 00 in) Descent Engine Thrust: 44,316 Newtrons (9870 lb) maximum, 4710 Newtons (1050 lb) minimum Ascent Engine Thrust: 15,700 Newtons (3500 lb) Fuel: 50-50 mix of Unsymmetrical Dimethyl Hydrazine (UDMH) & Hydrazine Oxydizer: Nitrogen Tetroxide Prime Contractor: Grumman Aerospace Corporation


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Model engenieered by Irena Roggeveen

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“Abe Silverstein, Director of Space Flight Development, proposed the name “Apollo” because it was the name of a god in ancient Greek mythology with attractive connotations and the precedent for naming manned spaceflight projects for mythological gods and heroes had been set with Mercury.”

Day 6, 2020. 2:14 AM: One of the most important parts of any space travel is the name of your rocket. I have decided to name my lunar rocket Another Apollo after the Greek God. What most people don’t know is that Apollo actually had many male suters. Ovid wrote about them in his poem “The Metamorphoses.” In the poem, Apollo throws a discus through the clouds and accidentally kills his lover Hyacinth. Because of this poem, I wanted to name my rocket Apollo, but seeing that there are 17 other Apollos, I had to name mine Another Apollo.

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I NAME MY ROCKET ANOTHER APOLLO

“unless it can be called fault, too, to have loved thee... While such things are being uttered by the prophetic lips of Apollo” - Ovid

Painting by Jean Broc

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Preparation: Launch Site

Day 7, 2020. 7:43 PM: Step 3. Finding a launch site. Today, against government orders, I went out in search of a place to launch my rocket. I needed a large enough space that would be able to support my 363 foot tall rocket, while being close enough that it would allow me to continue to work from home. About a 100 yards from my house is a clearing on the outer limits of my backyard. If you were to look up my house on Google Earth, it is a clearing on the right side of my yard. By no means is this my backyard NASA approved, but seeing that I am unable to make it to the Kennedy Space Center, it will have to suffice. The one drawback from launching a rocket from your backyard is the preparation of the location. Seeing that it is a backyard and not a paved runway, I did have to fight off a couple of squirrels and clean up a piles of pine cones that were littered from the surrounding trees. Besides those two annoyances, I think this is going to get me to the Moon.

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The Apollo 11 launch site at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, US.

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My House

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Launch Site

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23


24


25


26


E.T. PHONE 27


HOMO 28


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The Queer Utopia that is Cosmic Sapce by Devin Wilson

Cosmic Space: a vast undiscovered place that, when theorized, can allow an individual to travel and explore the universe. There are limitless possibilities to the things one can unearth with just an innate yearn for the unknown. Space is an unspace, “no longer … tied to a particular place, a particular topos, but would be in an ou-topos, a ‘not-place.’”1 Societal infrastructure created on Earth is what drives our reality. When a person goes beyond those structures, physically leaving the Earth’s atmosphere to fly into cosmic space, they enter an unspace, or a place that is physically and socially weightless. Very little is scientifically known about space. It becomes a place of exponential wonderment, a utopian ideal that can expose all of the answers of the universe. The desire to explore the unknown is an innate human instinct. As stated by NASA Official Brian Dunbar, “humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds, push the boundaries of our scientific and technical limits, and then push further... [this comes as a] desire to explore and challenge the boundaries of what we know and where we have been.”2 Exploration is a facet used by humans to try to explain our existential purpose within the universe, while simultaneously trying to escape it. Paradoxically, everything and nothing is often present within utopian ideology, reflecting this phenomenon. Space is a type of utopian ideal that allows people to escape their current realities. There is a similarity between the visions of space utopias and queerness. Neither are fully comprehensible or obtainable. They are ideals and aspirations that one strives to reach. In his work Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes suggests “desire, to know why, and how, [is] curiosity.”3 These philosophies to reach the unknown have flown us to the Moon, allowed us to be queer, and will one day lead us to Mars.

1 Boris Groys. Ilya Kabakov: The Man who Flew into Space from his Apartment (London: Afterall Books, 2006), p. 1 2 Brian Dunbar. Why we Explore (NASA) 3 Jacques Arnould, and Bertrand Piccard. "Is Exploration Unique to Humans?" In Impossible Horizon: The Essence of Space Exploration, Hindmarsh, SA: ATF (Australia), 2017. p. 21

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The concept that cosmic space is a utopian ideal is reiterated by the fictional character in Ilya Kabakov’s work, The Man who Flew into Space from his Apartment. Boris Groys describes Kabakov’s character’s drive as, “He didn’t want to wait until the whole of the rest of society was ready for utopia; he wanted to head off for utopia there and then.”4 In his work, Kabakov’s character was looking for an escape from the oppressive Communist regime, so he built an apparatus that was capable of flying him into cosmic space. The installation leads viewers to believe Kabakov’s character ultimately made it to space. Yet, there is no body presented to viewers. His character was not beyond flying into the unknown depths of space to escape his reality in the Soviet Union. The pressure to conform to oppressive ideologies was inherently present within the installation. His character’s apartment was plastered with drafts of the apparatus layered over posters of Communist propaganda, pointing to the path he would follow to escape. It is not whether or not his character reached the furthest limits of the universe that is important, but rather that he held the initiative to push against the infrastructures that forced him to travel to space in the first place. Much in the same way as his character was hurled into space, Ilya Kabakov was propelled over the border of the Soviet realm and into the West. Kabakov became his own type of cosmonaut. Kabakov himself did not technically fly to space, but the societal pressure that forced both him and his character out of Russia were the same. We can look at the artist’s experience as reality, and his character functions as an extension and exaggeration of that experience. They were both forced into unknown spaces because of external forces, looking towards the space and unknown of the West as the only idealistic utopia available. In his book Impossible Horizon: The Essence of Space Exploration, Jacques Arnould states that “humans are able to move away from their immediate surroundings and to imaging themselves in another place and in another period of time, to step across the frontiers of space and time.”5 Much like this statement, the basis of queer utopian theory and Kabakov’s work relied on circumstances to drive them into imagining a self-created utopia. When living with reality becomes impossible, one must turn and embrace the impossible. “Cosmonauts were glorified and celebrated like few others in the land.” 6 With Yuri Gagarin being the first man in space in 1961, Russia viewed space as its own utopia. In their eyes, space functioned as a “giant utopia of a global, cosmic, communist society.”7 This 4 Boris Groys. Ilya Kabakov: The Man who Flew into Space from his Apartment (London: Afterall Books, 2006), p. 1 5 Jacques Arnould, and Bertrand Piccard. "Is Exploration Unique to Humans?" In Impossible Horizon: The Essence of Space Exploration, Hindmarsh, SA: ATF (Australia), 2017. p. 22 6 Boris Groys. Ilya Kabakov: The Man who Flew into Space from his Apartment (London: Afterall Books, 2006), p. 4 7 Ibid.

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exaltation of the astronaut was not only present in Russia. There was also a heroicness that came with space travel and gave way to the archetype of the American Astronaut in 1961. In America, the astronaut was a symbol of nationalism, much in the same way that “space exploration… led to something like complicity between the Soviet state and its people.” 8 Toxic masculine culture, oppressive opposing nations, and their insufficient rocket power were the pinnacle of the 1960’s space race, rather than striving to explore space as a utopian ideal. With America successfully landing a man on the Moon in 1961, came the glorification of the heterosexual male astronaut, returning to his nuclear family after his ascent into space. He steps out of the spacecraft to take his first step on the face of the Moon. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” While his family was anxiously awaiting his return, the heteronormative American culture was broadcast to millions. This 1961 space race reinforced heteronormative sociological structures. Thus, presenting space as a place that needed to conform to normative culture, when space the antithesis. Space goes against what we know as the societally structured binary on Earth. Space is inherently queer. To this day, NASA has yet to openly address the relationship of queers to space, despite the fact that the first American woman in space, Sally Ride, was a lesbian As Sally Ride was alienated from her own identity on Earth, her body became further alienated after her return. Amanda Thibodeau’s “Alien Bodies and a Queer Future: Sexual Revision in Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild” and James Tiptree, Jr.’s ‘With Delicate Mad Hands’”accounts the depth in which heteronormative has infiltrated space thus far. She writes: In his introduction to the pioneering and influential Fear of a Queer Planet (1993), Michael Warner analyzes the image of humanity that accompanied NASA’s 1972 Pioneer 10 spacecraft. The drawing of a naked man and woman… was designed by Carl Sagan and his wife to “show scientifically educated inhabitants of some other star system—who might intercept it millions of years from now— … where, and by what kind of human beings.” In their preparations for potential intergalactic encounters with alien races, the scientists were very careful to present an accurate and benevolent picture of humanity—as heterosexual, monogamous, and patriarchal. As Warner notes, “It testifies to the depth of the culture’s assurance (read: insistence) that humanity and heterosexuality are synonymous.”9 The relationship between the heterosexual identity and the archetype of the astronaut leaves the 8 Boris Groys. Ilya Kabakov: The Man who Flew into Space from his Apartment (London: Afterall Books, 2006), p. 4 9 Amanda Thibodeau. "Alien Bodies and a Queer Future: Sexual Revision in Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild” and James Tiptree, Jr.’s “With Delicate Mad Hands”." Science Fiction Studies 39, no. 2 (2012): 262

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queer space traveler outcast from the categorization. Rather, a queer person remains an outsider in space. Thus, pushing queer space travelers into the category of alien in space as well as on Earth. A correlation can be made between the fictional character in Ilya Kabakov’s work and utopian ideals in queer theory. Space, historically, has been an outlet for escape and exploration. But, when thought of as queer, outer space allows us to see beyond this world and identify what is missing. It exists beyond the nonnormative logics and organizations of community, sexual identity, embodiment, and activity enforced by our society. Space is devoid of normalized binaries that have been fabricated in societal structures on Earth. This applies to both the Soviet regime that led Ilya Kavaboka’s character to fly into space from his apartment but also reflects concepts of queerness. The idea that one can escape those binaries by traveling past Earth’s atmosphere and into space is a queer thought. In the introduction of his book Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, José Estaban Muñoz states that “queerness is essentially about the rejection of the here and now and insistence on potentiality or concrete possibility for another world.”10 In Clayton D. Colmon’s, “Queer Afrofuturism: Utopia, Sexuality, and Desire in Samuel Delany’s Aye, and Gomorrah” he quotes Delany saying, “‘Aye, and Gomorrah’ (1967) offers a prescient narrative that springs from a utopic impulse to represent safe spaces for queer communities… Sexuality [in Delany’s book] is both by-product of and counternarrative to the history of oppressive heteronormativity in the United States… in general and spacer bodies, in particular, expand Afrofuturism’s discursive potential by sublimating race and embracing representations of queer utopia, sexuality, desire, and posthumanity.”11 In Delany’s book, he created genderless spacers that are described as “in-between bodies.” Because of their genderless post-human bodies, the spacers fail to connect to any gendered queer community. Like other historically marginalized and oppressed communities, they are in search of their own utopic “good place.” This relates back to Kabakov’s character who was forced to conform to Communist ideologies or go in search of a place where he was devoid of the societal structure that he grew up in. As queer people, space sometimes seems like the only place where we can conceptualize our new queer utopia. It takes us physically leaving Earth to escape the alienation we feel. We have to adapt that concept of alienation to achieve something that is less isolating. In Archaeologies of the Future, Fredric Jameson describes the alien body as a manifestation of utopian ideals. We must become aliens to be perceived as ‘normal.’ The concept of going against history and science reflects Ilya Kabakov’s work in which his character defied the logic of physics and created an apparatus that 10 José Esteban Muñoz. "Introduction: Feeling Utopia." In Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (NYU Press, 2009). p.1 11 Clayton D Colmon. "Queer Afrofuturism: Utopia, Sexuality, and Desire in Samuel Delany's “Aye, and Gomorrah”." Utopian Studies 28, no. 2 (2017) p. 329-30

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would catapult him space. A lone cosmonaut in space. His character escaped the system that alienated him, while also commenting on the lengths in which a person will go to achieve an ideal state. He exaggerated this contradictional commentary. Delany presents space as paradoxical. It is both a place where queerness can exist and a place that can be easily corrupted by Earthly heteronormativity. Queerness is not something one holds or fully obtains, but rather a continuousness phenomenon that one can only strive for. It is like the edge of the universe. We can move towards it, but we cannot actually capture its completeness. As José Estaban Muñoz states, “queerness is not yet here. Queerness is an ideality.”12 He goes along to say that “queerness is also a performative because it is not simply a being but a doing for and towards the future.”13 Paralleling the technological competition between America and the Soviet Union in 1961, queerness is our space race! When we identify ourselves as queer, we are going against the propaganda of heteronormative society that is still prevalent in today’s society. Not only do we have to subject ourselves to the structure created by normative culture, but we also have to subject ourselves to binaries of contemporary queerness. Like described in Delany’s book, even in a space “a place that is hypothetically devoid of binaries,” non-conforming individuals are looking for their utopic ideal. Why? Because even within our society, queer people are not removed from their biases. Outer space represents an alternative to our everyday reality on Earth. That alternative is an idealized utopia. “The future is queerness’s domain.”14 Although we do not know the queerness of Kabakov’s character, his initiative to leave the oppressive system and journey into an undefined condition reflects queerness. The willingness and desire to enter into the unknown, a void, is what queer people do every day of our lives. Every day, we redefine ourselves, and we live on a planet that is not our own. We are our own astronauts. We are forced into this position, and our own determination drives us to continue to press the boundaries of what we know. We are capable of reconstructing the reality around us. As queer people, we are told that space travel beyond Mars is impossible, but we must remember that standing on the Moon was also once impossible and so was being openly queer. Kabakov’s character had no way to escape, no closet to come out of. He escaped by propelling through his ceiling and entering space as a queer astronaut. As queer people, what we think is impossible is because of everything that surrounds us. We are conditioned to think that our existence is impossible, but only because those are the bonds 12 José Esteban Muñoz. "Introduction: Feeling Utopia." In Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (NYU Press, 2009). p.1 13 Ibid. 14 Ibid.

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society places upon us. I would like to think that this fictional character is queer, whether or not that is my own biased queerviewership. But, whatever the case, space is a utopian ideal that allows for anyone to visit the weightlessness that comes with leaving Earth’s atmosphere and the constructs bound within our gravitational pull.

Bibliography: 1. Dunbar, Brian. “Why we Explore: Human Space Exploration.” NASA. 2. Arnould, Jacques, and Bertrand Piccard. “Is Exploration Unique to Humans?” In Impossible Hori3. 4. 5. 6.

zon: The Essence of Space Exploration, 21-24. 2017. Colmon, Clayton D. “Queer Afrofuturism: Utopia, Sexuality, and Desire in Samuel Delany’s “Aye, and Gomorrah”.” Utopian Studies 28, no. 2. 327-46. 2017. Groys, Boris. 2006. Ilya Kabakov: the man who flew into space from his apartment. London: Afterall Books. Muñoz, José Esteban. “Introduction: Feeling Utopia.” In Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, NYU Press. 1-18. 2009. Thibodeau, Amanda. “Alien Bodies and a Queer Future: Sexual Revision in Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild” and James Tiptree, Jr.’s “With Delicate Mad Hands”.” Science Fiction Studies 39, no. 2. 262-82. 2012.

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Drawing by Ilya Kabakov

"Always, for as long as I can remember and even when I don’t remember... there has been a desire to run, to get away from that place where you are now; to run without looking back, so as never to return; to run so far away that they can’t bring you back from there; to run so fast that you can’t be caught; to run so suddenly and unexpectedly that no one could anticipate it and interfere; to jump out at the most unexpected moment when no one is expecting it; to jump through the window which is always closed, through the door which is most likely locked …" —Ilya Kabakov

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Research: Moon Landing

Day 8, 2020. 10:02 PM: Step 4. Where to land my rocket. The Apollo program has successfully landed 6 missioned modules on the Moon. I hope that I will become the 7th. My research has concluded that I should land on the southern hemisphere of the Moon, seeing that it is the most inhabitable considering that the Moon is just a giant rock in the sky. When it comes to landing on the Moon there are a couple things one needs to consider. First, you need to get to the Moon. Second, you need to find a place that can support human life. And lastly, does the Moon have validated parking? Scientists have recently been interested in the Southern Pole because of the occurrence of water ice in craters on the Moon. Seeing that one needs water to survive. The South Pole it is.

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"Nearly the entire Moon is covered by a rubble pile of charcoal-gray, powdery dust and rocky debris called the lunar regolith." Water on the Moon The floors of polar craters reach frigid temperatures because they’re permanently in shadow as a result of the low angle at which sunlight strikes the Moon’s surface in the polar regions (and also because the Moon has no atmosphere to help warm up its surface). If an astronaut was standing near the South Pole, the Sun would always appear on the horizon, illuminating the surface sideways, and, thus, skimming primarily the rims of deep craters, and leaving their deep interiors in shadow. Constant Light and Power Other extremes at the Moon’s South Pole are not so dark and cold ­— there are also areas, near Shackleton crater for instance, that are bathed in sunlight for extended periods of time, over 200 Earth days of constant illumination. This happens also because of the Moon’s tilt and is a phenomenon that we experience at our own polar regions on Earth. Unrelenting sunlight is a boon to Moon missions, allowing explorers to harvest sunlight in order to light up a lunar base and power its equipment.

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Apollo Landings

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15

17

11 12

14 16

Another Apollo

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An Impossible Mission: Day 9, 2020. 1:21 AM: With everyday stuck in this house, I am becoming less optimistic about the state of the world and my ability on the Moon. I have been thinking, what if I were unable to get to the Moon? Does that mean that all of this is for nothing? Have I failed myself? To stay positive about my situation I have created a list of backup possibilities that would allow me to recreate the Moon right here on Earth.

Possible ways to recreate the Moon: 1. Build a rocket that actually flys to the Moon / That requires a background in Aerospace Engineering 2. Create a false landing of my own to gloat over the Soviets and their insufficient rocket power / Too bad the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 3. Create a shrink ray that could make me the size of an ant and to where a blue marble was the Earth / The still requires extensive knowledge in robotics 4. Buy one of those anti-gravity chambers / Seems expensive 5. Have a man choke me out to simulate the lack of oxygen on the Moon / Social-distancing 6. Lie and tell people I went to the Moon, even if I didn’t

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Looking Towards the Moon, 2020

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Becoming and Astronaut, 2020

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Reaching for the Stars, 2020

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Amateur Astronaut, 2020

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Ready for Liftoff, 2020

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Media Coverage:

Day 10, 2020. 11:25 PM: This will be my last journal log. It is Day 10, and I decided that I will be leaving Earth in the morning. This expedition may be futile. I may never return to Earth. I have no idea what the Moon will hold for me. Whether it is the escape I was looking for or just another uninhabitable planet. Maybe I won’t even be able to reach the Moon due to either being struck down by a meteoroid, technical difficulties, or the current travel restrictions. But whatever the outcome may be, at least I can say I attempted to visit the Moon. — Signing off

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Amateur Astronaut, 2020. local boy, Devin Wilson, attemps to travel to the Moon.

FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2020 | Year MMXX | Number 69 | GLOBAL EDITION | Price: $ 2.50

The Observatory


local boy is working on building a rocket to travel past Earth’s Atmosphere with dreams of visiting the Moon. Devin Wilson, a current resident of Curwensville, Pennsylvania set out on an impossible mission to become the next queer person in outer space. Due to the current global pandemic, Devin relocated to his parent’s house in Central, Pennsylvania from Boston. He has not lived in the area for the last four years. He decided that he no longer wants to be defined by his circumstances. So, seeing no way to escape, he made the decision to fly to the Moon. For the past month, he has been planning his amateur ascent into space to enter into lunar orbit and visit the Moon. Since the day he relocated, Devin has been looking for a way out. For Devin, home no longer means planet Earth, but rather a place that would allow him to express himself as freely as zero-gravity would let him. He set out to redefine the term space to encapsulate queerness, forever proscribing outer space as a queer space. Devin has no formal background in aerospace engineering or any science for that matter, and NASA

A

Catherine Evans, Curwensville

of the universe.” He went on to describe why he has been drawn to the Moon. “I have always wanted to be an astronaut. I never thought I would ever get the chance to see the stars from beyond my rooftop.” Devin kindly declined our request for a tour of his facilities, and insists that it is a “private project” that he wishes to “pursue alone.” He also stated, “I am an explorer. I do not wish to challenge anyone to a ‘space race.’ This project is me building my own escape from everything.” Devin is delusionally optimistic that he will visit the Moon in the next month or so by his own means. When asked about his progress building his ship, Devin told our reporter he had “just started research” and

Launching a rocket from his backyard, local boy sets out on an expedition past Earth’s Atmopshere

Earth no longer feels like home to me. I have felt like this for a long time, but I never had reached the point of needing to leave before. But, now I have no other option. I don’t see leaving as a failure. I see it as a success. But, I also don’t want to go into space regretting leaving. I need space to be an escape, but I also don’t want the outside world to see this as me giving up. Rather, I want everyone to know I am doing this to create a new space where I feel safe and free from the constructions of this world. I want

to create a safe space where, someday, queers can join me. I do not have any plans to return at this point. I don’t really want to. I want to see what it is that I am missing that is beyond Earth. I want to achieve things that queer people have always been told we can’t. I don’t want to be told that I can’t do what I want to do anymore. I want to prove that we, queer people, can do it. We are capable of anything. We can make it to the Moon and beyond. We don’t have to just stop at the Moon. We can travel around the Sun, touch

the further star in the universe, and maybe one meet aliens on Mars. I want to do things that no one else has ever done. Not because of pride, but because I want to know that I can. For so long, I have been told that I can’t do these things. I want to go to the Moon. I will go to the Moon. And, I want other people to join me there.

Message from Space: Editorial by Devin Wilson

has chosen to not endorse his exhibition to space. When asked to comment, NASA decline to discuss Devins’s plans, stating that, “They fear his decision to start unauthorized space travel will spark mass panic and copy-cat attempts.” Our legal experts estimate that Devin will be breaking numerous laws, on local, state, and federal grounds. When asked if he had an attorney, Devin stated, “absolutely not.” In an exclusive interview with our newspaper, Devin stated, “I have always been interested in space and the unknown depths

created “a final draft.” He also has secured a launch site in his back yard that he defended from several wild animals, including two squirrels. Still, he is confident that he can build his own rocket, create his own spacesuit, and fly to the Moon alone. In addition to his plans for the Moon, Devin also plans to publish a book documenting his journey. He wants to share his research with the world to encourage other queer people to push the boundaries around them. He has a message to all of the queer community, as he does not currently have plans to return to Earth. His message is as follows, “Earth no longer feels like home. That is why I am leaving. I will be waiting on the Moon for my fellow queers to join me, so we can continue to push the boundaries of space travel, and hopefully, one day, make it to Uranus. We are all aliens in our own way.”

Will he be the next queer person to fly to outer space?

LOCAL BOY ATTEMPTS TO TRAVEL TO THE MOON


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Bibliography: Images: • NASA. Apollo Operations Handbook Exta Vehicular Mobility Unit. Volume 1. Systems Division, March 1971. p. 2-2 • Saturn V Flight Manual, George C. Marshall, Space Flight Center, November, 1968 • NASA. Apollo in Orbit, NASA Content Administrator. Photo credit U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences. 2010 • Apollo Training Manual “Apollo Spacecraft & Systems Familarization.” March 1968. • Lunar Module Exterior from Apollo Program Press Information Notebook. 1972. • Daily Mirror Archives • New York Times Archives Works Referenced: • Dunbar, Brian. “Moon's South Pole in NASA's Landing Site.” NASA. • Riley, Henry T., trans. “The Metamorphosos of Ovid.” Ovid, Metamorphoses. George Bell & Sons. • NASA. Apollo Operations Handbook Exta Vehicular Mobility Unit. Volume 1. Systems Division March 1971. p. 2-1 • Karegeannes, Carrie; Wells, Helen; and Whiteley, Susan. Origins of NASA Names. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA SP; 4402. • Kristen Erickson. About the Moon (NASA) • Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. About the Spacecraft, Apollo 11.

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