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Microsoft's Bing launches rocket mission for kids

Mission:10,000 Rockets is Bing's attempt to re-energize children's enthusiasm for rockets. Friendly ones, rather than ones that kill soldiers in video games.

It is always fun when serious people offer a confessional.

On Microsoft's Bing blog, director Stefan Weitz decides to tell everyone who will listen that he has been an "avid rocket launcher since 1975."

I am not aware what effect this might have had on his parents, his neighbors, or the local police and fire services as he was growing up, but I can find no evidence that he was ever arrested for such avid launching.

Weitz is now, however, vexed that science is not cool in school.

So he and his friends at the Bingdome have decided to revive child enthusiasm for launching.

Please welcome Mission: 10,000 Rockets, a program designed to get your kids to design rockets that will successfully immolate beyond ashes several countries of which we have not become fond.

No, wait. I haven't got that quite right.

Perhaps something like this will be useful for a trip to the planet Titan? CC Erik Charlton/Flickr

Mission: 10000 Rockets is, in fact, asking kids to imagine what the next generation of space travel might look like. If you can get your kids to walk away from their Grand Theft Auto and design the rockets of the future, they might get their creations actually built.

No, not to full size, but at least they will be brought to physical being by some "cool artists" whose work might just be worth a fortune one day.

A book of all the designs will also be produced, all the proceeds from which will be returned to schools. And eight extremely fortunate schools will receive $5,000 to fund scientific projects in their cash-strapped establishments.

As a recent job advertisement for an astronaut in the Calgary edition of Craigslist proved, there is a renewed enthusiasm in the space project, some of it no doubt engendered by the very real prospect that our own world will shortly disintegrate.

So what better way to make your children productive this weekend than by getting them to design a spacecraft that might, one day, preserve a little humanity for the residents of the Planet Titan to marvel at?