Send Sen. Glenn? Why not send all politicians? No sour grapes here

After all, the cyberrodent is a much more interesting biological specimen than Sen.
John Glenn.


Sure, the Ohio Democrat might have been the first American to orbit the earth. Sure,
NASA has a complete physical workup on the ex-astronaut. But when it comes to being a
guinea pig, there's no one with more experience than the Rat, except possibly for guinea
pigs themselves.


The Rat's space days predate the esteemed senator's, and what's more, his resume reads
better. Who showed Lindbergh how to fly with an altimeter? Who do you think they were
trying to shoot into orbit with all those Vanguard shots? Who handled the slack on Ed
White's space walk? Who spliced the wires on Skylab with bare incisors? And who showed Tom
Hanks how to float for "Apollo 13?"


The humble cyberrodent has had more electrodes taped to his anatomy over the past
century than he cares to remember. Ever since his fur was unceremoniously attached to the
nose cone of Robert Goddard's first rocket, the Rat has done his patriotic duty as a space
probe.


But who got all the glory? Those chimps and a Russian dog.


"At least they never sent me to the National Institutes of Health," shuddered
the Rat.


There are all sorts of things the wired one could achieve on a shuttle mission. He
could demonstrate the effects of caffeine in a zero-gravity environment. He could jam
transmissions of the Bud Bowl. He could show astronauts how to wire a LAN for the
international space station. Alas, it will never be.


The Rat understands the advantages of sending that glory hound back up again on the
ultimate congressional junket. NASA should just open slots for all 100 senators and every
member of the House. Think of their potential contributions to human knowledge:


On reflection, the Rat concluded it's a fine thing to send all lawmakers into space.
"Maybe they'll think better without gravity pulling on their neurons," he mused.


The Packet Rat once managed networks but now spends his time ferreting out bad packets
in cyberspace. E-mail him at rat@gcn.com.


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