I’m Fairly Certain the Cosmonaut in “Armageddon” Made Me Love the Russian Space Program

Two things tonight, dear galleons.

First, I watched the first episode of Pioneer One today. Pioneer One is a web series created specifically for torrenting and funded by donations. Which is cool and all, but that’s not why I watched it.

The show itself is about a craft that crashes into Montana and Canada. In the wreckage is a man in a Soviet space suit. Nobody knows what’s going on. Is it a terrorist attack (though, as they say, why would anyone attack Montana?)? What are the Russians up to? Is this even Russian in origin?

Warning: Spoiler Ahead

The badly injured man does seem to be a cosmonaut (It’s funny- supposedly, when they first encounter him, he’s asking them, in Russian, to identify themselves. When the US and Canadian officials are talking amongst themselves about him, all of them keep saying, “Well, we think he was speaking Russian.” Apparently, nobody in Canada or Montana can identify the Russian language with any real certainty.). It’s later revealed that he’s the child of Russian cosmonauts who have been living in a colony on Mars.

Which, I don’t know, is pretty cool. IRL, we see the Russian Federal Space Agency preparing for Mars missions by isolating cosmonauts for months at a time. If anyone’s going to get there, it’s going to be them. The idea that, during the Cold War, they sent a mission there and then forgot about it is an intriguing concept.

The acting in the show is… mediocre at best. The writing gets better by the end, but starts off pretty weak. Still, when the episode was over, I wanted to see more.

I might be keeping my eye out for future episodes.

One thing that irked me though. The final scene is set at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It’s labeled as such. It also says the Cosmodrome is right outside Star City, Russia. Which is ridiculous, as anyone who knows anything about the Russian space program knows the Cosmodrome is actually in Kazakhstan.

At least get your shit straight, people.

***

Speaking of Russians in space (see how I did that? I am the master of segues), the Russian cargo ship that couldn’t dock with the ISS this weekend due to a docking systems failure finally managed to dock with the space station.

Which is good, seeing as our folks up there could certainly use the 2.6 tons of cargo the thing was transporting…

Man, I remember when the ISS first went into construction. I was ten or so. We’d talked about it in my third grade enrichment group when we studied NASA (that’s what first hooked me on space, by the by), so I’d been keeping my eye on it. I was so excited about it.

Now, it’s easy to forget it even exists. When I was little, I envisioned this would be the start of human colonization of space. That, by the time I was an adult, we’d have built many more space stations, and that people from all over the world would be inhabiting them.

Ah, the idealism of childhood.

***

Listen, I can’t promise a post tomorrow. I have work, and then my brother is in town for the night. And I’m going to get to play Left4Dead 2.

I cannot even remember the last time I blew a zombie’s head off.

Just saying, that might take priority…

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