Written by Rusty
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Topics: Space, India, moon

Sunday, 9 November 2008

image for Indian Satellite Orbiting Moon
Cape Chapatti observatory tracks Currynauts and Vindaloo 1

India is currently jubilant and celebrating the arrival of its Vindaloo 1 spacecraft at the Moon.
A reverse thrusters blast from its fiery garam masala hot fusion nuclear drive unit on Saturday evening (local time) slowed the Vindaloo 1 sufficiently for it to be captured by the lunar body's gravity.

Further braking by the craft's two on-board Currynauts with a golf umbrella will bring the Indian satellite down to a near-circular, 100 km orbit from where it can begin its mapping mission.

Launched on 22 October from Cape Chapatti, the Vindaloo 1 is the first of India's space probes to get higher than the roof without going into self-destruct mode and not so much flying as plummeting back to the ground.
Earlier craft, built from the ancient designs for 'vimanas' found in Vedic literature and specifically The Mahabharata, were all powered by firewood and never seemed to achieve the necessary head of steam to reach orbital status.

However, the Vindaloo 1, fuelled by an exotic sub-atomic blend of Kashmiri snake oil, garam masala paste and the rare earth element Poppadomite (which reportedly has the radioactive half life of three weeks) will hopefully have enough chug left to return to Earth on completion of its mission.

The mission's purpose, besides giving India a boost from its customary 'hopeless case' Third World status, is to compile a 3D atlas of the lunar surface, mapping prime real estate sites for the strategic positioning of future Poundland outlets and chains of the Subcontinent's spicy take-aways.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) spacecraft was reportedly constructed by the consolation prize team of last year's Smegmadale Scrapheap Challenge final, who were classified by the programme's judges as the only team of blokes who could fuck up a perfectly good anvil.
However since that time the team have gone from strength to strength, with all of them graduating with NVQ 2 diplomas from the prestigious Calcutta Institute for Advanced Cosmology and Aerospace Research.

The Indian mission's scheduled off-world experiments include launching a 10 kilo probe that will be released from the mothership to slam into the lunar surface. Given the scientific title of a Moon Impact Probe (MIP), the thing basically consists of two house bricks tied together with a camera taped to them and an Indian flag trailing out behind, and will record video footage on the way down until it smashes pointlessly into the lunar surface with a silent dust-raising 'whack'.

Communicating with the Vindaloo 1 from the ISRO's Delhi-based call centre headquarters, mission control chief Mahat Macoat exhibited his customary annoying display of neck-gyrating while multi-tasking commands to the spacecraft and answering reporters' questions on the peculiar naming of the mission's crew.

"The Americans have their 'Astronauts', the Russians have their 'Cosmonauts', the French have their 'Frogonauts', so we decided to have our own speciality 'Currynauts' for the space exploration project."

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