Netflix’s ‘Space Force‘ draws comedy from the relatively serious business of space exploration. The comedy series, led by Steve Carell’s bumbling General Mark Naird, follows the titular space agency and the hilarious gaffes its employees fall into.
There is something quite special about watching characters that are highly accomplished scientists and military strategists indulge in tomfoolery while also being responsible for some of the nation’s most ambitious and expensive missions.
One of the agency’s main objectives seems to be safeguarding American satellites. Unfortunately, repeated hacks, attacks, and general bureaucracy make it impossible for anything to go smoothly. In season 1, rival Chinese agencies destroy a satellite by pulling off its solar panels, while season 2 finds another falling out of orbit and potentially onto Russian territory.
Though a lot of the show is fiction, the narrative does draw certain aspects from real life. So which category do the satellites fall into? Are the Blue Oyster Cult, Genesis, and Rush actual satellites? Let’s find out.
Are Blue Oyster Cult, Genesis, and Rush Real Satellites?
The show’s titular agency manages a number of satellites, and the subject generally comes up whenever one of them is hacked, attacked, or otherwise compromised. In season 2, a satellite named Blue Oyster Cult begins to fall out of orbit, expecting to crash into Russia.
The other satellites that the agency controls at the moment are called Genesis and Rush. Though no one in the government office notices, Naird’s teenage daughter Erin points out that all their satellites are named after rock bands.
As tongue-in-cheek as it sounds, there have been some real-life space programs and satellites with some pretty interesting names (more on that later). However, it seems like the ones seen on ‘Space Force,’ namely — Blue Oyster Cult, Genesis, and Rush, are not real satellites. It appears that giving satellites rock band names is part of the Netflix show’s comedic ammo.
Having said that, it’s worth noting that there was actually a NASA probe named Genesis, which launched in August 2001 with the objective of collecting samples of solar wind particles. However, the mission, which aimed to collect data that would help model the formation of stellar objects, was seemingly named for the actual meaning of the word “Genesis” and not the rock band.
Over the years, American satellites have gone through a variety of titles, including names like the Surveyor and Ranger missions to the moon and Pioneer missions to the sun, amongst many others. There are also missions with more poetic names, like the Juno mission to Jupiter, which draws its name from Greek and Roman mythology.
Since Juno’s objective was to orbit Jupiter and collect data on it, the mission was “romantically” named after the mythological god’s wife, Juno. There is also the Swedish-French-Canadian-Finnish satellite named Odin, after the Norse god.
And so, despite having some interesting names, it seems like satellites are not generally titled after rock bands (except when it’s a coincidence). In case you were wondering, the opposite does occur since there seems to be a rock band named “Satellite.” However, this doesn’t change the fact that Blue Oyster Cult, Genesis, and Rush are not real satellites but merely another comedic aspect of Netflix’s ‘Space Force.’