MODE 5 would like to thank the J.J Abrams Collection for the lens flare used in this image.
Saturday, 6 February 2016
(SATIRE) Alexander Offworld Space Probe leaves solar system
The Alexander Offworld Space Probe has finally left our solar system, according to relieved scientists.
Launched in March, 2015, on a mission “to boldly go”, the probe's proposed 9 billion mile journey to the fringes of our planetary system and beyond, was lengthened considerably after a sensor error created a blurred double-image of the planet Mercury that the onboard software mistook for Saturn. Following a correction to its course, the spacecraft undertook an erratic meandering trajectory while sending back streams of mostly incoherent data, liberally peppered with insults and threats to the livelihoods of those who were working in mission control.
The malfunctions are thought to have been caused by a leak in the alcohol reactor that powers the Probe. A spokesperson for the International Association of Space Probes and Telescopes (IASPT) told MODE 5 that the engine is able to generate additional fuel by siphoning-off gaseous elements from planets and combining these with its own methane-based exhaust fumes to create “a passable Chardonnay.”
“The probe has been an avid consumer of its own fuel to the extent that it has fundamentally altered the chemistry of Jupiter's atmosphere.
Head of the IASPT, Felix Mosley said:
“The time frame of the Alexander mission has been further extended, beyond all of our budgetary expectations, by a navigation error caused by the probe expurgating any record of Mars from its charts, after declaring the planet 'a warrior patriarch that oppresses Venus.'
“At this time Alexander broadcast a message that read: 'Mars doesn't have to be a habitat for life. Mars is dead.'
“I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that the Alexander Probe has no knowledge or understanding of the complex Martian environment, or any unique scientific insight into the planet's ability to sustain life, either at present, or at any time during the past.
“Unfortunately members of the public who lack scientific knowledge have taken these statements made by Alexander as definitive and are demanding that lines in the David Bowie song Life On Mars are digitally altered to reflect the perceived barren nature of the red planet.”
“During the first few months of its mission the Alexander Probe refused to accept any software upgrades written by male employees of the IASPT, unless these workers were at the pinnacle of their profession and were willing to provide their services for free. This resulted in numerous component failures and mishaps, which have also served to prolong the mission.”
The Alexander Offworld Probe's journey through the solar system has been fraught with drama with accusations of bullying levelled at it by other space probes, telescopes and communications satellites.
MODE 5 can report that the space probe 'Shocking Blue' was left so traumatised by its encounter with Alexander that it returned prematurely from a mission to analyse the Venusian atmosphere. It has since resigned its position at the IASPT and is now employed as an air conditioning unit in New Mexico.
Alexander also spent a month grinding up against the Hubble Space Telescope in a reported effort to protect the universe from “the male gaze of its operators.”
Nathan Leeming, one of a team of scientists who built the Probe, recalls the troubled development process:
“In hindsight it was unprofessional of us to celebrate the invention of an alcohol-powered reactor, capable of synthesising its own fuel, by getting really drunk at the lab. At some point in the evening it seemed like a top notch idea to assemble a space probe from the various empty bottles and wine boxes we had lying around the place.
“No sooner had we booted the operating system than it began to insult the scientists who were working on its components, calling them out as nerds, issuing vaguely racist proclamations, and employing its built-in megaphone to announce to anyone within earshot that the space program was dead.
“I awoke in bed the following afternoon with the Alexander Offworld Space Probe dribbling tepid coolant down my bare shoulder.”
Richard Shirmer, who according to onlookers drunkenly climbed atop a lab bench and pronounced himself 'Head of Development' for the Alexander Probe, before accidentally setting fire to his trouser leg with a Bunsen burner, has since described the project as “an embarrassment”:
“The components contained within the Alexander Offworld Space Probe represent a technological misstep whose existence on earth seemed likely to impede the possibly of our organisation obtaining any funding in the future, and stood to alienate the public from supporting further space exploration. Having created it, our only option was to send it so far into space that no one would ever hear from it again.”
The move to send the probe into space at the earliest opportunity was supported by a kickstarter campaign in early 2015.
Astronaut, Lewis Bredin, recalls the launch:
“We literally opened the airlock of the International Space Station, kicked the Alexander Probe out into space and then sealed the door before it could claw its way back inside. In space no one can hear your scream, but it turns out that an objectionable space probe bellowing 'Silly astronauts. I am the solar system' can be heard for miles.”
The Alexander Probe carries onboard a message to other star-faring civilisations, penned by a self-proclaimed paedophile and a small group of useful idiots, many of whom are undisclosed members of organisations who are vehemently opposed to space exploration.
“We hope that the Alexander Offworld Probe will spread its garbled message of misdirected anger and bellowed threats to other distant, galaxies, far, far away from Earth. As long as it doesn't come back,” said Mosley.
“We are all keeping our fingers crossed that our universe isn't circular.”