The Final Frontier

What do you mean there's a squirrel loose in the cabin?

What do you mean there’s a squirrel loose in the cabin?

We have come once again to the day that was arbitrarily chosen as the final day of the prompt logo 2workweek… yes it’s Friday!  For those of you who already enjoy this day, we’re going to make it just a little sweeter with another made to order post in The Nest’s Prompt the Squirrel Friday series.  I’m almost halfway through the suggestions that have already been sent in by my fabulous readers out there… but that’s only because there are so many of you on the other side of my monitor who have still let your silence speak volumes.  Don’t stand by and let my blog turn into a vast wasteland… if you haven’t sent in your very own post idea yet, you need to rectify that immediately with the contact form here.  I can not be held liable if everything goes to hell in a handbasket just because you didn’t want to share…

It's right there in the fine print on Page 69, Article XIII.

It’s right there in the fine print on Page 69, Article XIII of my blog.

The prompt I chose to tackle this week came from the pen of JackieP, author and funny meme collector, who writes the blog To Breathe Is To Write.  Here is the idea she snuck in to me through the northern border…

How about having the first squirrel go into space? Or like in the Martian where it’s stranded on mars and meets Buster? (there hasn’t been a squirrel in space has there??)

Nope, no rodents here!  Move along...

Nope, no rodents here! Move along…

To answer Jackie’s question, to the best of my ability to do shitty research, no there has never been a squirrel in space before.  However, my reading up on the history of animals that were sent into space during the pioneering days of space travel tells me that squirrels should consider themselves damn lucky nobody ever threw a helmet on them and tossed their furry butts into a Cold War era rocket.  While these days many people will pitch a shit fit if they find out some dude in a lab coat is jabbing cosmetics into some poor caged bunny’s eye, apparently nobody in the 1950’s cared that the space programs of the United States and the Soviet Union were helping to control the pet population by volunteering countless critters to go on kamikaze test flights that almost always ended bad…

It's gonna be worse than a trip to the vet, Laika... almost, anyway.

It’s gonna be worse than a trip to the vet, Laika… well, almost worse.

Laika is probably the most famous critter to ever go into space, kidnapped off the mean streets of Moscow and launched into orbit by the Russians in Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957.  She didn’t become famous because of talk show appearances and book deals after her pioneering flight.  No, Sputnik 2 took her straight to the Rainbow Bridge as Laika died after just a couple of hours of spaceflight, probably from trying to stick her head out the window of the capsule.  She was hardly alone, though, as during the 50’s and 60’s, the Soviets managed to kill off more poor mutts launched in their shitty CCCP labeled rockets than even Michael Vick would have tolerated.  Man’s best comrade, indeed…

Don't worry, guys!  Master Ivan told me were perfectly safe riding back here!

Don’t worry, guys! Master Ivan told me we’re perfectly safe riding back here!

On the other side of the Iron Curtain, the Americans kept firing a series of mice and monkeys into space with mixed results… which is good as long as you weren’t one of the beasts that had the good fortune of crash landing back to earth.  Our monkeys were somewhat luckier than the cosmomutts, though, in that we had more test simians safely return to live long, healthy monkey lives of being stared at quizzically by stupid humans in zoos.

What?

What?

One of the few survivors of the canine bloodbath that was the Soviet space program was a dog named Belka, which translates into American as “Squirrel,” so there has in a way been a Squirrel in space!  Belka was launched along with fellow mutt Strelka aboard Sputnik 5 on August 19, 1960, and they (along with the bunny, rats and countless mice that were also on board) became the first creatures to survive being put into orbit over Earth.  As usual, it’s a squirrel that makes history!

You wouldn't put us in that dangerous old rocket, would you?

You wouldn’t put us in that dangerous old rocket, would you?

Wait a minute!  Belka wasn’t actually the first “squirrel” in space… that distinction belongs to an American named Gordo, a squirrel monkey who the Americans shot up 600 miles into the atmosphere on December 13, 1958.  Alas, Gordo didn’t have a very safe splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, as was reduced to monkey brains inside of his space capsule when the floaties on his flying casket failed.  The Nest raises its can of Pepsi in honor of this lost semi-sciurine hero of the great space race…

Bummer, man...

Bummer, man…

So, would I, in good conscience, volunteer Evil Squirrel to become the first real, genuine, full blooded sciurine to adventure into space upon discovering the horrific, declassified history of the four-footed space program?  Well, if NASA offered me a bunch of money for it, hell yeah I would!  Hey, squirrels are already great at doing death defying acrobatics from insane heights off of the ground, what’s a few hundred, thousand…. tens of thousands of extra miles to them?  And I’m pretty sure squirrels are already weightless…

Oh, did you call me fat?  Well, I'd like to see your big ass climb up on this twig without breaking it!

Oh, did you call me fat? Well, I’d like to see your big ass climb up on this twig without breaking it!

So whaddaya say, Evil?  Care to take one giant step for squirrelkind?

Errrr... when's the next flight back to Earth?

Errrr… when’s the next flight back to Earth?

It doesn’t seem like ES wants any part in going to Space Camp.  But, I did notice while checking up on the history of animals in space that there’s another species that doesn’t seem to have been represented as an astronaut yet…

alien possum

Greetings, earth dog!

So I am hereby volunteering Buster to become the first possum (And I’d dare say, first marsupial) in space, and think he would be the perfect candidate for the long and treacherous flight to Mars.  Heck, why stop with Mars, let’s send Buster straight to Uranus.  We won’t tell him Uranus is mostly made up of non-solid gasses until he tries to step out onto the Uranian surface…

But Buster.... Uranus IS a gas giant!

But Buster…. Uranus IS a gas giant!

Well, so long Buster!  Bon voyage and remember don’t take off your space helmet for any reason!  Hopefully our brave little possum returns in time to be properly eliminated in next Thursday’s comic… and I thank Jackie again for inspiring me to send off a critter that nobody will care whether it returns to earth alive or not.  I’ll be back with another alien prompt sent in by one of my spaced out readers next Friday!

No, it won't be about alien ponies..... maybe.

No, it won’t be about alien ponies….. maybe.

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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27 Responses to The Final Frontier

  1. it would be interesting to see the first space-squirrel… but probably it is too much effort to remove all the nuts from a space shuttle after that trip :o) I wrote a letter to our president he please should declare war to russia for killing Laika… 20 years after they gave her the one way ticket to the moon… I never got an answer. Even in the good old time politicians were always bad :o(

  2. Another grand prompt promptly followed up on…….something about planet Uranus has always bothered me – who thought of that name anyway? I mean really…….why not Urtushie or Urbuns?

    Pam

    • I did a detour to Uranus’ Wiki page while writing this up and found that whatever the governing body for astronomers is prefers the pronunciation “YUR-uh-nus” over the much more popular and snickerworthy “yur-AY-nus”… and the funny thing is that it doesn’t mention why they prefer it being pronounced that way even though it’s quite obvious! I seem to recall my teachers in grade school taught us the non-naughty way of saying it as well not wanting kids giggling in class!

  3. Ally Bean says:

    While reading this I’m thinking: “Pigs in space….” from The Muppet Show. So when you do your first squirrel-y space travel, make sure to have a catchy tagline to go with it. That way you’ll definitely make history.

    • Hmmmm, I wonder if the estate of Mr. Bowie would allow me to rework “Space Oddity” to fit either a proposed Evil or Buster launch. The ending would certainly work in the latter’s case…

  4. Rhio says:

    If that alien pony existed as some kind of toy, I’d buy it immediately. SO cute!
    This was a really cool post 😀

  5. draliman says:

    What’s that you’re saying about Uranus being full of gas? Heh heh. (There’s always one!)
    Very interesting, thanks for researching stuff I can’t be bothered to. I hope Buster enjoys his trip to Mars!

    • Oops, looks like we made a small error on the flight path. Buster was supposed to be going to Uranus, but that stupid red planet got in the way. Oh well, back to the drawing board….

  6. Trisha says:

    I guess Buster would be the best option to send into space since terrible things happen to him on a daily basis and he just keeps coming back for more. It would serve humankind right if he survived and started a Planet of the Possums that one day returned to take over earth. Hopefully, the Possum Posse would start their bloody takeover with the people involved in launching dogs into space!

    • I’ll bet they would, after they destroyed Nest HQ for our…. er… inhumane treatment of their species first! But a Planet of the Possums wouldn’t be all that bad… I hear they would abolish Daylight Savings Time!

  7. Well, at least by 2016, we’ve all killed a bunch of humans up there, too. Of course, the humans actually WANTED to go. I’m one of the loony tunes people that has always wanted to go into space. Now I’m old and infirm, so I can’t even dream the dream … but actually, since here in the good ole USA, they treat senior citizens like trash that hasn’t yet been put on the curb, why NOT send us into space? Look at all the money they’d save by not providing us with social and medical services. Oh, wait. They already don’t give us anything much … but this way, they could not give us anything at all except for one, final, totally cool ride to oblivion. Sign me UP!

  8. ody & biskit…..we wood freek out if we had ta go in two space…….cranbereez we freek out in de carrier in de car…..plus…..whooz ta say… what kinda sum thin…. wood sneek INTA de rocket ship, if we had ta land ta …..ya noe….uze it…..pluz we total lee sux at directionz N we wood end up like R pals will robinson & de robot…..lost in space !! 🙂 heerz two an earthworm eel kinda week oh end ♥♥♥

  9. JackieP says:

    Hey! My idea turned into something pretty cool. Thanks for that. 🙂 I always hated when I would find out they were sending animals into space to be tortured. (A kids imagination is really terrible sometimes). Hope Buster will send me a postcard from….well wherever he ends up! ha!

  10. Merbear74 says:

    That monkey ass will haunt my dreams tonight.

  11. The person whose idea to build the rocket should go first! 😀

  12. The Cutter says:

    That’s the one reason the world misses the USSR. No space race = no need to send random animals into space. They’re sending monkeys? We’re gonna send sharks!

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