We knew that Winston Churchill sealed a deal with the Daleks, but we had no idea NASA did the same recently. At least this is how it looks like from a picture that popped up on the Internet a few days ago.
Many of us presume that the U.S. have a very advanced arsenal composed of alienesque weapons (call it conspiracy theory, if you wish), but joining forces with The Doctor’s arch-enemies would be too much to take. In this context, it comes to no surprise that the above picture caused a lot of panic among old and new Whovians. The design seems more up-to-date, but the resemblance is undeniable, and who knows (pun intended), maybe Davros decided to modernize its creations, in order to assure a decisive victory over our beloved Time Lord.
To the relief of all who got panicked when seeing the above image, NASA revealed that those are in fact the Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne Engines used in the Space Shuttles that have been retired. The engines will be reconditioned and then used as part of the SLS (Space Launch System), which is to be NASA’s most powerful rocket to date. For that to happen, these engines need to be transported from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, USA.
The most probable reason why that picture was taken in the first place is that it is the first time the 15 engines are together. As a NASA spokesman declared, “All six Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne space shuttle main engines from Endeavour’s STS-134 and Atlantis’ STS-135 missions sit in test cells inside the Engine Shop at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (…) For the first time, all 15 shuttle main engines are in the shop at the same time, being prepped for shipment to NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, where they are being repurposed for use on NASA’s next generation heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System.”
In these conditions, we have no choice than trust NASA and hope that those engines will not scream “Exterminate!” any time soon. After all, 15 Daleks would be more than enough to erase human beings from the face of the Earth. We must wait till 2017 to see the SLS completed, so that we can rest assured that the Dalek-looking engines were used for no other purpose.