A space exploration enthusiast on Twitter recently asked the web audience to come up with a name for an upcoming mission to Uranus, likely aware of the internet’s fascination with amusingly-named projects.
This seems like the perfect time for @ASTROGLIDE to sponsor space exploration.
— Some Bastard On The Internet (@OnBastard) September 12, 2022
It has sparked a wave of humorous responses from users, demonstrating their enthusiasm for puns related to bathroom humor.
Operation Butt Plug
— Van from The Polymath Mind WTF (@PolymathWtf) September 10, 2022
You’re really asking the internet to name a probe going to Uranus?
You really thought this would turn out well?
— Amatuer Emergency Therapy Machine 🌻 (@CybertheRobotD1) September 12, 2022
And certainly, a flurry of scatological references caused it to become rather popular.
Jokes apart, this type of humor has significant ramifications.
Fortunately, several sensible names have been suggested in response to the viral tweet, which could feasibly be used for an upcoming mission by NASA.
Some members proposed to honor the British astronomer who discovered the celestial body back in the 1700s.
Given that Uranus’ moons are named after characters from Shakespeare’s plays, public members proposed to refer to the mission as Tempest after one of the poet’s works.
Some also proposed to bestow the planet with names inspired by mythological figures, such as the formidable Norse deity who vanquished ice giants or the Roman version of the Greek god Uranus.
The possibility of a mission to Uranus in the near future still remains uncertain. A panel of experts associated with NASA recommended the planet as a major scientific target with the highest priority, as stated in their huge decadal report earlier this year. Despite this, no official announcements from NASA regarding planned visits to Uranus have been made.
Uranus is an intriguing destination to explore, as its moons are thought to contain vast oceans of liquid water. Consequently, there may be many compelling reasons to pay a visit.
A mission could also offer insight into its formative days, such as why it is leaning to one side or why it has dual sets of rings encircling it.
Joking about sending a probe to Uranus can be entertaining, but generating public support for a publicly funded mission to the distant planet is essential to garnering enough interest, especially among decision-makers. Interestingly, the butt jokes may even play a role in increasing enthusiasm for the project.
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