Has anyone ever masturbated in space

Why does it take so long?

A few weeks ago something incredibly stupid happened to me. I bumped into a tall, unstable bookshelf on which was a rather heavy home theater speaker. The exact physical circumstances that caused it to fall are beyond my knowledge - but the fact is that it fell, with a sharp corner right on my head.

I've never seen so much blood all at once. It was all over. For a short time I was convinced that I didn't have a drop left in my body. It literally oozed out of me. But then I came to my senses and called an ambulance, a decision I struggled with until the car finally arrived. I don't like to make fuss - maybe it would get better if I lay down for a while? “No way, sports friend,” said the paramedic after taking a look at me. "Off to the hospital."

Especially after my discharge from the hospital, I dearly wished I could travel back in time and just not walk past this shelf. That would have saved me the concussion too - there are definitely worse things in the world, but such a concussion is definitely in the top ten. No tv. No cellphone. No books. No sport. No masturbation. No sex. If you are really good, you can stare at the ceiling for a while. Sleep is important, but not too much. By the way, quite unnecessary advice since a concussion causes insomnia. Uff.

On the other hand, you have a lot of time to think. And a lot of time in general, which is why you start to think about time at some point - for example, how you could stop yourself from doing something idiotic by traveling back in time. At some point I also thought about why space travel takes so damn long. This question still preoccupies me.

I am not referring to the process of traveling through space itself; as Douglas Adams knew and any comet can attest, space is very large. No, I'm talking about planning and running a successful space mission. An example: It wasn't long ago that NASA announced - with great fanfare - that it would be sending astronauts to the moon again. And in the long term. Great! Great! I want to! But wait ... that is only planned for 2028? There are still ten years until then. Do they really need ten years to plan something that has already worked before? At a time when a room-sized computer was needed just to calculate which course the spaceship had to take? No matter what the conspiracy theorists claim, we have sent people to the moon more than once. And now NASA is saying it will take a full ten years to do that again? Why? Why is this taking so long?

Of course, I am aware that there are countless things to consider in a project like this. If we want to house humans on the moon in the long term, we need bigger rockets than ever before. We need tremendously powerful computers, a lot of staff and, most importantly, a lot of money. NASA will ensure that its budget is secured in the near future and that it has a certain financial leeway for emergencies. Still - ten years to repeat something that has already been successful? It seems like a long time to me.

It doesn't have to happen tomorrow. Even if Elon Musk and Richard Branson claim they will be able to send space tourists into space next weekend - in reality such a space mission takes time. To ask NASA to build a hotel out of the lunar soil by summer would be unworldly. But ten years? With all due respect, but what are they dawdling around?

NASA should leave their planning to me. I have a lot of time right now. I stare at the ceiling for a while at two o'clock, then I have nothing more to do until I scratch my ear around five. I don't know anything about planetology or space exploration and little about lunar physics, and I don't have any money either - but hey, I'm sure I can do something like this in less than ten years.

Rob Boffardwas born in Johannesburg and commutes as an author and journalist between England, Canada and South Africa. He writes for "The Guardian" and "Wired", among others. His novels "Tracer" (in the shop) and "Enforcer" (in the shop) have been published by Heyne-Verlag. You can find all of his columns here.

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