Friday Cephalopod: Lost in Space?


Last year, NASA launched an elite team of baby squid into space in a scientific experiment on the development of symbiotic interactions. These brave innocents went forth to advance our scientific understanding.

Yet now their fate is unclear. The summary of the experiment is now sprinkled with statements that “Data is either unavailable, restricted, or under review.” I need to know what happened. Perhaps, under conditions of weightlessness and intense radiation, the cephalopods quickly grew to monstrous size, melded with the computer equipment on board, and have been mimicking human communications ever since, and all the resupply missions since have been redirected to the goal of feeding the giant space squid colony? It could have happened.

Sorry, astronauts. You’ve all been squid chow for the past year.

Comments

  1. says

    It’s a nice first effort, but the proper format is more like:
    Ask a few entirely silly questions in a string, each more ridiculous than the last, and then turn to the experts.

    Did cephalopods grow to monstrous size under weightlessness and intense radiation? Did they then meld with the computer equipment on board? Are they even now mimicking human communications to lure astronauts to their doom?
    Some experts believe…

    Then we go to the guy with the weird hair or the funny eyebrows sitting too close to his webcam, who claims that NASA actually knows all about it and is hiding the truth because “they don’t want anyone to know.”
    There. Your investigation is complete.

  2. StevoR says

    Thinking space squids anyone else read Stephen Baxter’s Manifold trilogy of SF novels esp Time with its sentient squid named Sheena and her descendents?

    Meanwhile thinking space launches we’ve got one happening right now-ish – well in an hours & on the launchpad already here – Axiom 1 Mission live youtube

    See :

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2022-04-08/first-private-mission-to-international-space-station/100902946

    &

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom_Mission_1

    A historic all private spaceflight to the International Space Station.

  3. StevoR says

    D’oh! I stuffed up – was going to delete the bare youtube link that embeds and just keep the anti-embed coded one there. My apologies.

    Also I know a lot of folks aren’t big Space X fans here (& yeah Musk can be an absolute douche) but still reckon this is pretty impressive.

  4. StevoR says

    Yet now their fate is unclear. The summary of the experiment is now sprinkled with statements that “Data is either unavailable, restricted, or under review.” I need to know what happened.

    Yes, me too.

    That does seem pretty odd and makes me wonder why.

    BTW. Wikipage for Mnifold :Tiem here –WARNING Spoilers :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_(Baxter_novel)

    Albeit for an now old 1999 novel..

  5. birgerjohansson says

    So … will our future Navigator descendants find manifold time squids sexually attractive? Or will maybe the Old Ones come back and take over everything, they have tentacles too.

  6. angoratrilobite says

    “Perhaps, under conditions of weightlessness and intense radiation, the cephalopods quickly grew to monstrous size, melded with the computer equipment on board, and have been mimicking human communications ever since, and all the resupply missions since have been redirected to the goal of feeding the giant space squid colony? It could have happened.”

    One can only dream. Those bebes are very cute.

  7. wzrd1 says

    I’m wondering if the research data is the newest victim to NASA’s sudden shift to making much of their work classified.

  8. PaulBC says

    Or maybe they invented a new form of cephalopod square dance in space. What are those two squidlings doing? Any explanation?

  9. birgerjohansson says

    OT
    The nominations for the Hugo awards are in.

    My favourite in Best Series is ‘The Merchant Princes’ by Charles Stross.
    And Best Graphic Story or Comic would – in my opinion- be ‘Monstress, vol. 6; the Vow’, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda.

  10. blf says

    wzrd1@8 claims “NASA’s sudden shift to making much of their work classified.”

    Eh? Citation required!

    More likely the investigating team (and perhaps the PI themselves) are of the school which doesn’t like to release data “early” for fear of someone else beating them to an interesting result, and so on. Nasa missions in the past have suffered from this — the Viking landers on Mars were notorious for it and the resultant hassle eventually resulted in the shift to what we now see today, where data from the rovers, etc., is put up on the web for everything almost in real-time.

    Since this was an experiment on the ISS, I’m speculating “the rules” are different (than for the JPL probes), and the investigating team is — or at least thinks it is — under no obligation to make the data available “as soon as” they have it.

    (And can Nasa actually classify something nowadays? Their “customers” could (e.g., the military back in the days of the space shuttle), and possibly still can… a variant of which — withholding the data by the investigating team — we may be seeing here.)

  11. ardipithecus says

    Or, the Squidlords don’t want NASA to know until they are ready to make their move. I suppose their first intel priority would be to determine every person who has eaten calamari.

  12. Walter Solomon says

    Great. Now we’re going to have a xenomorph infestation. This is how you get xenomorphs, you know?

  13. nomdeplume says

    Yes, amusing, but I can’t help remembering the poor dogs and monkeys that were sent up to meet awful ends after a frightening trip.

  14. brightmoon says

    I remember a short sci fi story called Sheila 5 about space squids . The female they initially sent was unknowingly pregnant and her offspring eventually formed space colonies that began to threaten land dwellers on earth . I wish I could remember who wrote it ! It isn’t that old

  15. weylguy says

    It’s just two cephalopods docking in what they view as space. “Pod” is part of their name.

  16. StevoR says

    @17 . brightmoon : That sounds very similar to the Sheena 5 sub-plot in Stephen Baxter’s Manifold :Time mentioned above (#5) I wonder if that’s a short story version he added to the novel or inspired it or .. something?

    Sadly, my Google-fu is failing me here..

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