A Business Guide To Planning Space Missions

Prometheus

Spoiler warnings for Prometheus!

So I saw Prometheus twice last week, and as a film it’s fine but bits of it really rankled me. Some things just dont make sense, especially since the whole Prometheus mission is supposed to be a scientific one. I think Cory Doctorow (yes, I’ve a huge hard on for Doctorow, get over it) got it right when he said:

science fiction films are visually consistent, not logically consistent (the opposite of science fiction novels, which is why I’m a pain in the ass to take to sf movies)

(It’s totes worth reading the review of Prometheus Mr. Doctorow is referring to as well.)

What I didn’t realise though, is that everything entirely makes sense IF you understand the internal workings of the Weyland corporation. I’ve managed to get hold of this Weyland email which illustrates exactly why all that dumb stuff that happens in the movie actually makes perfect sense…


From: [Corporate Services] corporate@weyland.com
To: [Scientific Division Managment {SCIMAN-LIST}] sciman-list@weyland.com
Subject: URGENT: Updated Guidelines for Mission Planning
Date: 08/03/2088 10:37:15

It has come to our attention that some staff are failing to correctly implement company-wide Best Practice procedures when planning new interplanetary scientific projects. Please take 5 minutes to familiarise yourself with the following updated considerations from the new Scientific Interplanetary Investigative Venture Management Guidelines [rev: 3]:

  • When assessing the viability of an interplanetary scientific mission, it’s perfectly fine to accept ‘because we think so’ as
    justification
  • Unmanned preliminary missions are for losers; rubes are cheap
  • Quarantine is optional, flamethrowers are cheaper and much quicker
  • Always hire a captain that is indifferent to the mission. The longer he’s working the more expensive it is!
  • Don’t let the crew meet before locking them up together for several years, things may be boring for them otherwise
  • When picking a scientific team, make sure their UTPTWTF (urge to poke things with their fingers) rating is very high, they’ll never get anything done otherwise!
  • The buddy system is pointless, NEVER use it. The same goes for headcounts
  • Make sure women make up less than 25% of the crew
  • Encourage your employees to remove their helmets at every opportunity. Recharging those oxygen tanks is expensive
  • Always have plenty of quality classic black & white movies for your android. Abbot and Costello come highly reccomended
  • If you must leave staff in a creepy alien building overnight, make sure you do not record or monitor them, they need their privacy too!
  • If providing a high quality, expensive medical suite; make sure it only works for men. Always keep it stocked with plenty of staples
  • Do NOT tell your prospective crew anything about the mission before they head off. If partners of your crew need to know where they’re going for several years, a shrug or dunno is standard practice
  • If you are sending a high-level manager on the mission, make sure they have no interpersonal skills and no management oversight; also make sure they cannot run sideways. This is a choice position for that board member you never got on with
  • Don’t bother providing any prohylactics for the crew, they’ll probably crash or get eaten anyway so why worry?
  • Make sure your android is as creepy as possible, and make sure to install the english accent pack
  • The ship’s lifeboat need only travel 50 meters without crashing, any further is considered a bonus

We feel these procedures will produce many more profitable avenues for WEYLAND to explore. For further information I suggest thoroughly reviewing the Strategic Management Update Guidelines – General Information [rev: 7] (SMUG-GI7) umbrella documentation.
Thank you for your time.

Darren Linehold MBA MUSSBC
Head of Business Continuity
Corporate Services Division

WEYLAND Industries
x62970

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Turn eyes to MAX

Tomorrow I’m hopefully going to have my first “IMAX Experience”, as they call it, and I’m rather excited about it too.

I’ve wanted to go and see what all the IMAX fuss is about for quite some time now. I’m a regular listener to the Mayo & Kermode Film Review podcast from BBC Radio 5 Live, in which chief contributor Mark Kermode has continually insisted IMAX, and not 3D, is the future of cinema. Combine this with some independent research into the cinematic standard (it’s extraordinarily high resolution, stadium style seating and gargantuan concave screens) and my appetite is whet to the point being positively submerged…

Until recently IMAX screens were few and very far between but I’ve noticed them popping up in many of the cities I’ve visited of late, though I’ve never really had the chance to pay any of them a visit, as I’m usually there to do something else, either that or there’s nothing on I really want to watch. However, with the opening of an IMAX screen at Sheffield’s Centertainment Cineworld complex, one of these mammoth venues is easily at hand, so all I had to do was wait for a movie to come along that would justify the rather costly £13.10 admission.

Enter “Prometheus”, Ridley Scott’s return to the Sci-Fi genre and prequel to the Alien(s) franchise. I saw a trailer for this before a release day screening of “The Cabin in the Woods” and was so impressed by the visual quality and shear scale of the thing I made the decision, then and there, that this would be the one to take my IMAX flower.

Looking further into it, now the time is upon me, the only thing that’s giving me second thoughts is that you can only see it at IMAX in 3D (or threed) but I’m willing to overlook this in this case as it was filmed in threed (so it wont be one of those awful pop-up book looking retro-fits) and I’m hoping the extra umph of the IMAX projection might compensate for the usual dimming effect.

So, there you have it, I’m on the verge of what might be an incredible experience or a rather expensive disappointment. As far as the film goes, I have great confidence in Scott to deliver, if not a classic film, then at least an epic feature. He has a great pedigree for such things and given the cast he has to work with, I feel sure he’ll not let me down. I watched Alien in Hi-Def on my mate’s wall last night too, so I’m all kinds of prepared. Now it’s just a waiting game. I’ll b sure to report back on how it goes, on all fronts.

Roll out your shiniest bells and finest whistles IMAX. I’m coming over there and I expect to be impressed.