Written by Rex
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Topics: Space, NASA

Saturday, 5 June 2004

During a recent "fact finding mission" to Bali, [their respective partners thought they were at a space conference in Moscow], a male astronautics engineer and a female economist with NASA made an amazing discovery. [Apart from what the Balinese mean when they talk about the "horizontal Cha Cha Cha"]

After buying $20 DVDs for $2, a $500 computer upgrade for $7 and an Omega Oyster for only $10, all from young guys in the street, they realised that the Balinese have an uncanny ability to duplicate almost anything at a fraction of the original price.

They got talking to a local motorbike mechanic and happened to mention that they were currently working on a project to put a man on Mars, with a budget of 500 billion US dollars. "Leave the speci with me for a couple of days" said the mechanic, "And I'll see what I can come up with."

Two days later over a few glasses of arak, the local fire-water, the mechanic casually mentioned that he could duplicate their Mars project for $20,000. Their astounded cry of "WHAT!!!" was interpreted as a sign that they wanted to haggle and the price quickly dropped to $10,000.

"Of course", said the mechanic, "That's just for one. If we can talk quantity, the price each will get considerably cheaper." "But what fuel will it run on?" said the engineer. The mechanic held up the bottle of arak and said nothing!

An initial deal was negotiated for 25,000 Mars projects [some home assembly required] retailing at $100 each, including all taxes and other charges. To place an order, go to www.justlikenasasbutcheaper.com

Due to the expected congestion of Mars airspace, NASA is working on a plan to put a team of air traffic controllers on Mars. The projected cost of this is expected to be in the region of 900 billion US dollars. A consortium of Balinese inner-city traffic engineers is currently preparing a tender which is confidently expected to be much less.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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