What boggles my mind? All of this effort in materials technology, to build a glorified Apollo capsule - c. 1967.
My view is that this is the best part of the Constellation program. The space capsule remains a great space vehicle design. The new ground that Orion breaks here is the use of modern materials and electronics systems. Down the road, I can see the manufacture of space capsules as being somewhere between an advanced bike and a modern car in complexity and cost.
I'm not equating intelligence with malevolence, I'm saying there is no correlation between intelligence and malevolence. If the aliens are friendly, great, but don't discount the possibility that they may not be friendly. If they're unfriendly AND more intelligent (and they'd have to be to actually reach us), we're in deep trouble.
some of us are quivering hot man-studs with bushy chests, winning smiles and real biceps
Dream on! Actually, though, I gave up the coke bottle glasses a few years ago, and after growing a goatee I don't have much trouble getting women. Unfortunately, dating is damned expensive; I'm always broke. I was better off when I couldn't get a date =(