• Todd Beacon

NASA spends 10 years and $93 billion to figure out how to do what they did in 1969

An engineer at NASA tries to piece together a puzzle that his collegues have made much harder than it used to be
An engineer at NASA tries to piece together the Apollo 11 puzzle

Cape Canaveral, Florida—On July 16, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins boarded Apollo 11 and set sail for a moon vacation. Eight days later, they were back home, fucking their wives and grounding their kids.

Collins didn't actually get to go to the Moon. While Armstrong and Aldrin soaked in all of the glory, he stayed in Apollo 11 and circled space like a shopper looking for a parking spot at Walmart on Black Friday. Before he died in 2021, Collins had a lot to say about the excursion.

"It was bullshit. One of us had to say on Apollo 11 so the other two could make it back safely. We played a game of Scrabble after we blasted off. The loser had to say. I know Armstrong and Aldrin cheated. There's only one Z in scrabble, but they both had two. Fuckers. I should have just come back to Earth after they boarded the lunar module. No one even knows who the fuck I am. If you Google my name, the former Minister for Finance of Ireland pops up first. Who gives a shit about some asshole born in 1890 who was good with numbers? Most people were riding horses and buggies back then. I flew a fucking space ship to outer fucking space for fuck's sake!"

Did Collins' bitterness ruin future NASA missions to the Moon?

According to the Administrator of NASA, Bill Nelson, absolutely.

"Collins really fucked us up. When Apollo 11 got back, he was steamier than a turd in a North Dakota winter. He kept going on and on about triple word scores and Zs. A few days later, all of the Apollo 11 schematics and designs were destroyed. He shredded files, pissed on computers, and set fire to all of the prototypes.

"None of that was a game-changer back then, because we had already gone to the Moon. But once we decided to go back, that's when we knew we were in trouble. The engineers and scientists at NASA were much smarter in the 1960s. Today, it takes us a year to figure out shit they could do in a day. We tried to get Buzz to help, but fuck me. They guy is ninety-two years old. He can barely remember where his ding-a-ling is."

Aldrin's Twitter account seems to remember quite a bit, however.