Failure of Russian spacecraft finally explained
Truth doesn't "live here" — It's just camping out
Thursday, November 26, 2015, 12:52:UTC)(
6 January 2012
Moscow, RUSSIA -- The bizarre behavior of the doomed Russian spacecraft Fobos-Grunt, which entered orbit in November and promptly refused to continue on to its planned rendezvous with one of the moons of Mars, has finally been explained: the probe is apparently too drunk to leave orbit. Recent video shot by an amateur astronomer shows the probe executing lazy barrel rolls, bumping into other spacecraft, mooning the Earth, and running over a fire hydrant, all the while flying backwards. Shortly after the video's release, chagrined scientists with the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) admitted that Fobos had smuggled several dozen liters of vodka into space and had consumed them during its initial parking orbit, and that a last-ditch effort to sober the spacecraft up by firing a high-pressure stream of coffee at it has failed.
"So many funny jokes we hear," said a rather downcast Roscosmos official, attempting an ill-advised face-palm while wearing a paper bag over his head. "Especially from Americans. 'In Russia, spacecraft fall on YOU!' Yes, yes, drunk probe very humorous. But important issue, too! We expect spacecraft to re-enter Earth's atmosphere within month. Must to be careful!" The official, in a low voice, added, "Listen, please do not blame satellite. If I fire your ass into space on six-month mission by yourself, you probably drink, too, no? Is lonely out in space. In fact, is cold as Russia. Ha ha! I make myself laugh."
Russia launched the probe last November 9, intending to use an on-board lander to explore the surface of Phobos, one of Mars' moons, for natural gas, oil, or any other substance which could increase the glory of the Motherland. After an uneventful launch, the probe went out of communications range due to a previously-known quirk of design constraints. However, instead of autonomously executing the first of two planned orbital burns, the probe apparently cracked open some of its smuggled vodka and started partying like a Russian author.
Since the failure, the Russians had been continuously attempting to draw the probe's attention by running across the desert of Kazakhstan, waving their arms and shouting "You're going the wrong way!" in both Russian and Chinese. However, the spacecraft has only responded intermittently with bleeps, bloops, and slurred comments such as "I love you, man", and "I have to pee!"
Before the November launch, Russian officials attributed the design, machining, and assembly of the spacecraft to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. However, they have since stated emphatically that Mr. Putin was not involved in any stages of the spacecraft's construction, and that the failure was the result of bungling by Mr. Putin's inferiors. The failure of the spacecraft is unlikely to affect Putin's re-election to the Russian presidency in March, when he is expected to receive his usual 102% of the popular vote.
Experts with the American and European space agencies were unavailable for public comment, as they had taken a holiday to roll around on the floor and clutch their sides.