NASA announced today a "Face in Space" program, where you can upload pictures of yourself that will be transferred to the International Space Station.
"Launch your face into space," the agency says.
Why just the face? Why not....other parts?
NASA spokesman James Hartsfield tells Hair Balls there really aren't any safeguards that would prevent, say, porn from going into space.
"We've also had things NASA's done like 'Send you name to the moon' or submit your name in space on various planetary probes, and you know there's not a safeguard there against what words people can type in, be it profanity or what have you," he says. "So some of that is inherent in dealing with the public, but by and large people we have talked to about it are very excited about it." (Update: Hartsfield called us back after this item went up to say he was wrong, and that the "name in space" projects did include filters to block dirty words.)
It's not like the pictures in the Face in Space program are going to be perused by anyone. They'll be digitally compressed "very, very small" -- 20 pixels total -- Hartsfield says, and then transferred up to a file server on an ISS computer.
(Hartsfield called back again, to say that the 20-pixels thing is by itself a safeguard. "Is 20 pixels of a porn picture porn?" he asked, to which we wondered "Is 20 pixels of a face picture a face? Small or not, theoretical or not, it's still porn in space.)
Those computers get regularly cleared of data, so it's not a permanent thing.
But still: A nice Eva Angelina double-penetration shot? Doesn't that deserve to slip the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of God?
Go to it, America. Your mission is clear. Plus you'll get a nice certificate signed by the shuttle commander for your efforts.