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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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90's Kid Space Program
NASA may not want to admit it, but at this point they ARE the 90's Kid Space Program.
Title text: NASA may not want to admit it, but at this point they ARE the 90's Kid Space Program.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an ORBITAL LAUNCH SYSTEM. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

The "launch system" is just one of the rubber popper toys popular in the 1990s. These toys are little rubber hemispheres, about 1" (25 mm) in diameter and 1/8" (3 mm) thick. When turned inside-out and placed on a hard surface, they will, after a short wait, snap back to their original shape, popping up into the air. The joke is that kids who grew up with these toys will think they're a great idea to propel a space ship to orbit, when in fact the toys launch at mere tens of kilometers per hour, far short of the thousands needed to reach orbital speed. But now kids playing with these are those that make rockets, hence the title 90's Kid Space Program (KSP).

The title text implies that many working now at NASA are/were in fact 90's kids. Both categories would include Randall, as he was born in 1984 and previously worked at NASA.

The title is a reference to the Kerbal Space Program (KSP) which has been recurring theme on xkcd, and it has previously been hinted at that NASA's employees uses this program in 1244: Six Words and 2204: Ksp 2. And also that you learn more about orbital Mechanics by using KSP than from being hired by NASA in 1356: Orbital Mechanics.

Transcript

[A command and service module representing the tip of a spacecraft, is attached by four long trusses to four equidistant points on the edge of a giant light green popper (a green "hill" with a round raised edge around it). The popper is in its inverted configuration, ready to pop. There is a caption beneath the panel:]
The 90's Kid Space Program prepares for their first orbital launch


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