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Friday, May 27, 2022

Greg – NASA lunatic

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This is Greg. He has been a lunatic since he was a boy when he fell in love with the sky one night, standing in a corn field looking up at the moon. He studied astronomy at UCLA then got commissioned to the Navy working as a navigator: using the stars like an old skewl seaman.

You like the sea. Dat kewl.
Yes the sea is kewl. I’ve had over 3,000 nights of active duty at sea – both with the Navy and as a NASA presenter on civilian ships – I’ve gone everywhere from Iceland to South America to Guam. My favourite place is the middle of the Indian Ocean because it’s mirror flat. Like a lake. The most magical, spiritual experience of my life was here, on a war ship.

Ocean ocean yeah ok kewl but like NASA bro!
After my years of Navy duty followed by 24 years of *I CANNOT CONFIRM EXACTLY WHAT I DID BUT THERE ARE TV SHOWS AND MOVIES BASED ON THINGS THAT I DID*, then through a hardcore application process, I was accepted into NASA as a Solar System Ambassador. I get to communicate with mission scientists and astronauts then present or am interviewed on NASA’s progress and discoveries. It’s my 16th year and I have spoken to hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of people. I was just on Fox 5 TV and WTOP Radio last week.

What questions do people ask you the most?

  • Is there other life in the universe?
  • Why are we going to the moon if there is only rocks and dust there?
  • How do I get into NASA?

OK and the answers are?

  • I’ve seen things I can’t explain. So have lots of other ‘sky savvy’ professionals I’ve spoken to. Let’s just say I would be more surprised if there aren’t.
  • We are probably going to colonise the moon in the next 50 years.
  • NASA needs everyone from plumbers to painters to chefs so you can just apply. Oh, and astronauts and scientists too.

Is astrology a wank?
It’s something people enjoy.

What about full moon and mental institutions and COME ON THINGS GO CRAY? Mental institutions double their security each month so like WTF is with that.
You talk to police. First responders. People in ER. They all attest to higher activity. A correlation not a causation.

What is actually on the moon?
Dust. Dirt. Rocks. Valuable mineral and energy resources. Caves. Lava tubes. Water. Lots of water.

Water is on the moon? Officially?
The Cabeus Crater alone has an estimated one billion gallons of water ice mixed in with the soil. So, we could break the water down to drink, grow plants on the moon, breathe, make lunar concrete and most importantly, rocket fuel.

Easy to colonise?
A famous Scottish lunar scientist once said “If you wanna be a Martian you have to be a lunatic first.” So my answer is yes, absolutely. It would be much easier to do so than Mars, which is just being blazed by the sun.  The European Space Agency has stated that if we all pooled our resources together, as humanity rather than individually as countries, we could colonise the moon within ten years. Look up the “lunar village” on their website.

You own 26 ‘legal’ pieces of the moon.
And six from Mars. Legal. And 226 overall in my collection… don’t ask. It’s an X File Scully. PS my favourite space rock arrived in 1969 when a bolide blew up over Murchison, Australia. It smells like spirits-  I keep it under a glass jar, and when I smell it, it’s like a cognac or a bourbon. It costs $100US a gram and some people eat it as it’s so full of compounds and acids. My one has a backside that – upon entry – didn’t touch the earth’s atmosphere.

When is the earth going to get Armageddoned?
We of the Milky Way are going to collide with The Andromeda Galaxy in 5 billion years. We get 250,000 miles closer every hour and have a new name for when it happens and the new galaxy forms: Milkomeda (supa kewl).

What’s the latest haps at NASA?
We know of 4,000 planets beyond our solar system. There are another 3,000 waiting for classification (exo-planets). There are many more to be found. A spacecraft called TESS was just launched to find exo-planets – they’re the natural bi-product of a new star forming its own solar system. New star = new planets = maybe more earths out there.

Do you have to be a space nerd to be a space nerd?
I have found in the tens of thousands people I have had the privilege to meet with, that everyone has an interest in the universe. Once people realise they don’t need to be Einstein to understand the universe, they always want to learn more.

Fave thing to talk about with cruise guests?
2 million years ago on the plains of Africa, Homo-Erectus stood up for the very first time looked up at the night time sky and saw the very same planets that we do. The same moon (only it was 31miles closer then), the same milky way, the same stars. I love that.

Fave cruise memory?
Inaugural Azamara Quest voyage to Australia and NZ. Captain Carl broke out the champagne for the guests while we looked at the milky way with all the deck lights turned off. We had an Azamazing evening while docked in Hobart and were welcomed by the Mayor, the Tasmanian Symphonic Orchestra and incredible fireworks.

Aaaaaand, you’re about to be published?
I have written what I believe to be the first ever book on cruise ship astronomy and astro-photography. In Chapter 3 I discuss 2,400 years of human scientific endeavour – that is 0.12% of the time that homo-erectus- our ancestors –  first appeared on the planet.  It’s going to be part of Springer Astronomy Publisher’s “Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series” and will include a series of beautiful photos taken from ships at sea. It will be out by Christmas. Buy it or I’ll send my Navy SEAL friends after you.

 

*NOTE TO SPRINKS: this guy is the most bad-ass straight up dude I’ve ever met. Let’s just say for 20+years he was packing heat 24 and flashing badge like NBD. Sprink is straight up going to write a book about ole mate which he has confirmed is a thing (not in writing).

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