BY ALAN SHEPARDIZE
At a Monday afternoon press conference, the law school announced plans to build a floating space station to remain in geostationary orbit above Cambridge. Construction on the space station will be completed by 2132 and is intended to relieve projected classroom pressure, provide students with new dining and socializing options, and to bolster HLS’s reputation in the projected-to-be-burgeoning field of Space Law (the space station includes room for an extensive clinical program on the subject). It will also provide space for new faculty offices (see Faculty, A1).
Hoping to assuage student concerns about the project, the Dean of Students office held a town hall meeting on Tuesday to discuss the appearance of the finished project, as well as the effects of construction on the student body. Dean Cosgrove assured students that the impact would be minimal.
“In the first stage of the project, we’re expecting some falling debris in the area,” she told students at the town hall. “While it is conceivable that some of this may hit a law student, our physicists project that the majority is likely to land in Somerville.”
In later stages – not projected to begin until most current students are deceased – students can expect additional disruption from the construction of massive launchports or space elevators intended to take students to the space station’s surface. “The option we choose will depend on then-existing technology,” said Project Manager Roger Peterson. “Whatever . . . aren’t these 3D-mockups of the space station neat?”
While, barring radical life extension treatments, current students are not expected to survive to see the project come to fruition, Dean Cosgrove assured students that they would see the effects of the project almost immediately in the form of the donations the law school would ask them to provide to fund it. “In fact,” she stated, “the $115 your section raised for their class gift will have swelled to several hundred thousand dollars through clever investment by the time the project is completed.”
She also added that the descendants of current students would benefit from the project in the form of increased prestige to the law school that will retroactively reflect on their great-grandparents who attended it, thus increasing their familial status.
“Familial status is likely to be very important once the space aliens take over,” Cosgrove said. “Here, have a rocket ship shaped cookie and some tang. The astronauts drank it.”