I recently read that Spokane is vying to become a command hub for the fledgling, latest branch of the United States Armed Forces, the Space Force. I'm not sure how that's going, butI do know the government was asleep at the switch and allowed Netflix to copyright "Space Force" globally, so there's that.

The United States created the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 about nine months after the Russians put their first satellite, Sputnik I, into orbit.

About 180 pounds and the size of a basketball, Sputnik I caught the Americans completely flat footed, sparking fears that the Soviets might be also capable sending missiles armed with nukes from Europe to America. The United States prided itself on being at the forefront of technology, and, embarrassed, immediately began developing a response, and voila, there's your start of the U.S.-Soviet space race.

Did you know Russian cosmonauts used to carry special pistols to space so they could shoot any bears and wolves that attacked them when they landed in Siberia?

Did you know NASA used to hold beauty pageants in the '50s and '60s. The title changed names from "Miss Guided Missile" to "Queen of Outer Space" (a Zsa Zsa Gabor movie riff) to "Miss NASA". I believe the last gasp of this "event" was 1973. The nerd/girl stereotypical jokes kind of write themselves, don't you think?

M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) recently posted a deep fake video featuring President Richard Nixon eerily reading a pre-written statement disclosing to Americans and the world that the astronauts aboard Apollo 11 were lost before returning safely to Earth.

NASA launched its new Mars rover "Perseverance" aboard a mighty Atlas V rocket into space last Thursday. It's set to arrive on Mars in February and this one has a mini helicopter that'll fly around the surface of the red planet. The biggest, most sophisticated Mars rover ever built — a car-size vehicle decked out with the latest bells and whistles: cameras, microphones, drills and lasers — is part of an ambitious, long-range project to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth to be analyzed for evidence of ancient life.

This is the world’s third and final Mars launch of the summer. China and the United Arab Emirates got a head start two weeks ago, but all three missions should reach their destination in February after a journey of seven months and 300 million miles.

Finally, the first truly high definition footage of Mars hit YouTube recently