The Space Pope hosts the Mittani and INN: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Tour

2017-01-24

If you do not love space, if you do not love spacecraft, if you do not stare into the stars and wonder what could exist beyond our lonely, pale blue dot, you do not play spaceship games. One of the best things about playing these games is the shared love for all things interstellar across every player of all these games – be it Eve Online, Elite: Dangerous, Kerbal Space Program or even Star Citizen, our yearning for the stars amongst us is universal.

Because of Eve Online, occasionally certain opportunities will present themselves. In 2013 I was lucky enough to enjoy a private tour of the SpaceX facility where the first prototypes of the now-infamous re-entry system sported on the Falcon 9 were being created, massive composite ‘legs’ for a rocket amidst a factory larger than any building I’d ever stepped inside.

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On Thursday I stood above the Center of the Universe at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, ushered to that point by Maximilian Singularity VI, First of His Name, the True Emperor – aka Charles White, the Space Pope.

Mittani and the Space Pope

It is one thing to see the heart of all our strivings towards the beyond in the Space Flight Operations Facility; it is another thing to be shown these mysteries by a literal Man In Black, one of the members of the Mishap Investigation Boards which would be first on the ground at any accidents involving cutting edge tech, leading to the legends of the ‘alien’ MIBs.

“It was only at the end of our interview that I asked what Charles does for a living in the real world. He’s spent the past 30 years working for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, investigating any faults that occur in its rockets. At one point he even served on the Mishap Investigation Board. Yes, EVE Online’s Space Pope was once a real life member of MiB, the group that inspired the Men in Black.” – Julian Benson, Kotaku

 

Dare Mighty Things

In Eve Online, Max Singularity is not merely the True Emperor, but the leader of the Sixth Empire alliance.

JPL

Here we are, sitting inside the mission control booth for the Curiosity Rover landing.

Curiosity Rover

Curiosity is gigantic. This is a life-size model of what amounts to a plutonium-powered space-tank. Like a proper space-tank, Curiosity has its own twitter account which is well worth following.

The Search For Another World

Exoplanets: Gotta Catch’em All~

Caution!

JPL is like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, except full of spaceships and stuff that will kill you instantly if you wander off the path.

Spacecraft Assembly Facility

Not the kind of sign you see every day, unless you have the coolest job in the world.

Mars 2020 Spacecraft

That’s the Mars 2020 spacecraft, waiting to be assembled: the Space Pope does, in fact, have the coolest job in the world.

Space Pope

Our thanks to him for sharing the awesome with us and the INN team! We’d show more from our tour, but it’s classified.

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Comments

  • Bill McDonough

    They weren’t kidding when they said Curiosity was the size of an SUV, were they? Not normally the jealous type, but damn, Mittens, that looks like it was a hell of a tour.

    January 24, 2017 at 12:05 PM
  • Mynxee

    That looks like the coolest tour of anywhere ever! Fun read! Hugs to the Space Pope for being an amazing ambassador for both EVE and real life spaceships.

    January 24, 2017 at 1:46 PM
  • MacCloud

    wow didnt even realise the MiB was inspired by an actual org inside of the US’ government with the same abbreviation! thats fuckin cool that our own space pope was one of them at one time! haha!

    January 24, 2017 at 1:55 PM
    • Bill McDonough MacCloud

      Would he be Agent M, or Agent C?

      January 24, 2017 at 3:29 PM
  • Silicon Buddha

    What a great experience! That was very kind for Charles/Max to arrange that for his friends. Real world “Get Togethers” spawned from electronic friendships has been happening since the BBS days, and is one of the key things I love about the Eve community.

    January 24, 2017 at 4:10 PM
  • Ivana Twinkle

    This should be a good start to a “Mittens looks at things” thread.

    January 24, 2017 at 4:19 PM
  • Kael Decadence

    But did you see any aliens?

    January 24, 2017 at 7:34 PM
    • Thats in the “Classified” section of the tour I believe 😉

      January 24, 2017 at 7:51 PM
  • Rhiannon Williams

    I’m jealous of the guy in my deprtment going there soon to persuade NASA to put our thing on the next rover *Green with envy*

    January 24, 2017 at 9:49 PM
  • Mephiztopheleze Mephiztopheleze

    wow. that looks like it was a hell of a lot of fun.

    January 25, 2017 at 3:38 AM
  • Borat Guereen

    Cool!

    January 25, 2017 at 6:56 AM
  • SkepticNerdGuy

    Charles is the man, I am jealous and really need to get on this tour done day.

    January 25, 2017 at 6:17 PM