Written by Michael Simmonite
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Topics: Internet, Cyberspace

Sunday, 5 August 2001

image for To Boldly Go! - CyberSpace Travel One Step Nearer
Could this be CyberSpace? - an artist's impression

Jubilant British Cyber-physicists were last night on the brink of making the most important scientific breakthrough since man first stepped on the moon - or so they say. After weeks of painstaking research and endless fruitless experimentation, it is thought that the first CyberSpace probe could now be ready for launch as early as March next year.

The probe - which will be unmanned - will be fired down a giant fibre optic cable at breakneck speed deep into the bowels of The Internet from a secret location near Scunthorpe."If everything goes to plan we hope to get the first ever pictures of web pages as they travel through CyberSpace before materialising on your monitor screen," said Professor Norman Animalcup who is at the helm of this adventurous project. "We really don't know what to expect," he added, "but it's all very exciting."

Part of the five month long project - which has cost an incredible 8.3 hundred pounds to date - will be to search through CyberSpace to seek out signs of intelligent life.

However, this is thought to be highly unlikely at the moment. "Of course, it's inevitable that intelligent life must exist somewhere out there deep in the vastness of CyberSpace, but we're not banking on finding it at this early stage.

"What we do know at the moment is that there are web pages out there containing pictures of Victoria and David Beckham for example, but, alas, these are very primitive forms."

The ultimate aim is to send the first men into CyberSpace. "We certainly have the technology, but it could be very dangerous at the moment,"

Professor Animalcup explains. "Even if we did get the Cybernauts back in one piece, they would have to be quarantined for a long period afterwards - just in case they'd picked up any nasty viruses."

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

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