Australia is planning to create its own space agency, but there is a big but about what it might be named.
Or should we say “butt.”
On Monday, the Australian government announced plans to create a space agency in order to get its share of the booming space aeronautical industry, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
By Tuesday, there was a website for an organization called Australian Research and Space Exploration ― or “ARSE” for short. And, yes, it’s selling T-shirts with the logo.
The website might look and sound official to a passing observer, but, alas, ARSE has nothing to do with the real Australia space agency, which has yet to formally announce its name.
The ARSE website claims the organization’s strategic long-term plan “is to support the development [and] implementation of advanced space technologies, [and] growing our local space industry.” Its mission statement claims Australia is “in a unique position” to capitalize and invest in space exploration.
The Irish Examiner reports that said the lack of an official .gov.au web address is the first sign that ARSE has a dubious connection to the actual Australia space agency.
The other clue is the backside of one of the t-shirts being sold on the website: “That’s one giant step for man, one giant leap for down under.”
The unidentified team behind the website told both The Examiner and Mashable that ARSE is an independent campaign to promote Australia’s space program.
Then the puns came full force.
“We urge the public to get behind a new space program that will explore the deep unknown,” the site told The Examiner.
So, no, ARSE isn’t really the name for Australia’s space agency, but some people don’t want to let that dream die.