UnNews:NASA goes psychedelic

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This article is part of UnNews UnNews Logo Potato1 Straight talk, from straight faces

17 February 2007

Aurbor
Nature’s psychedelic show

WASHINGTON, D. C. - Desperate to deflect unwanted attention following astronaut Lisa Nowak’s attempted murder of Colleen Shipman, whom she regarded as a rival for the affections of a astronaut Bill Oefelein, whom neither woman actually knew beyond having spent a few hours with him in training, NASA announced its plans to launch five satellites aboard a spacecraft. “This mission involves no flesh-and-blood personnel of either sex or gender,” spokesman Ralph King told Unnews’ reporter, Lotta Lies, “so there’s minimal chance for further embarrassment by astro-nuts--I mean, astronauts.”

To draw even more attention to its mission, as opposed to NASA’s spacey space jockeys, the upcoming mission will be “psychedelic,” King said. “We’re going to check out the northern lights, or the aurora borealis, to use their proper, scientific designation. More specifically, we want to know how they get their start.”

In the past, NASA would have given this mission a catchy designation, because the agency wanted to keep the public interested in its program so that lawmakers would fund its work. After the negative publicity that Nowak brought to the organization, however, NASA wants to keep a low profile. Hence, for the foreseeable future, its missions will exclude human beings. Instead, scientific instruments or, in some cases, animals will replace astronauts aboard spacecraft. In addition, catchy names for the assignments will be replaced with dull, boring acronyms such as THEMIS, which stands for Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms, which is the official designation of the aurora borealis mission.

By the same token, cute phrases, plays on words, and puns will be avoided in favor of a staid, formal diction, a no-nonsense tone, and the use of as much jargon as possible. King gave an example. “Previously, this is how we might have described part of the mission”:

After they’re set free, the satellites will kick back with one another, south of North America, to check out the lightshow, while land-based stations in Alaska and Canada shoot the psychedelic spectacle for replay. Beer and pretzels, most likely, won’t be served.

Now, wording such as the following, will be employed, instead:

Following their deployment, the satellites will position themselves in parallel, south of the North American continent, every four days to view the aurora borealis configurations while, on the earth’s surface, Alaskan and Canadian stations will optically record the multihued incident.

Until now, scientists have agreed to say that the lights are caused by the distortion of solar winds that collide with the planet’s magnetic fields, spinning tails into the space wind. “It sounds good,” King said, “but it’s just a fantasy. Now that Lisa has made it impossible to put women inside a spacecraft of any kind for any purpose, we’ve decided to see how and why these lights are really formed.”

A satellite that NASA launched previous to the Nowak scandal failed to support the scientists’ speculation as to the origin and cause of the aurora borealis. “It would have been embarrassing,” King confessed, “but we just buried the results of the mission. Now, NASA would welcome such embarrassment. It would be better, by far, that the humiliation that Lisa has caused us by wearing diapers as she drove across the country to kill Colleen.”

"We believe this project will usher in a new era of understanding about the nature of sun-earth connections," King declared. “Actually, that’s what Vassilis Angelopoulos, THEMIS’ chief investigator said. “My boss told me to make sure I slipped that in.”

According to NASA, the mission will help humanity to understand better “Earth, Wind, and Fire and possibly even the Grateful Dead.”

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