NASA and JPL today announced the cancellation of the forthcoming Mars Science Lab mission (MSL), based on the poor economic situation, a general disinterest of the public and various redundancy factors.
NASA's chief Spokesman, Major Tom Thomas, said, "The MSL mission is hereby canceled. The fact is that we already know there is life on Mars and this whole thing would have become redundant."
Questioned by reporters, Major Thomas went on, "Life was discovered on Mars way back in 1977, though we did put it all off for a few years to generate revenue and to protect the Church in Rome, who had approached us for a delay on releasing the findings."
Marcus Kinsey, the front man for the MSL mission itself, was quick to support his boss's statement: "Geez guys, the bottom line science was as clear as the smudgy ink marks on your noses! Did you really believe us when we said that we didn't know?"
Reporters from the various news organizations clustered for fully half the day to compare notes before the final briefing, where US President Barack Obama was slated to speak at the retirement ceremony for the US Space Shuttle Program.
"My fellow American space travelers, let's stop being so goddamned stupid. The shuttle can't even leave Earth orbit. Just what in the hell is that all about? We need a new generation of ships that both look a lot cooler and cost a whole lot more than the current ones now in service."
ESA secretary, Lord Tamerlane 'Guts' Howler commented after the American President, and chided private industry to do better, "There you are, on the waves of the great unknown. You have no crumpets, you have no tea, you have no scones and you have no tarts. Your whole reason for being is perched as if upon a pinpoint, balanced against the onrushing tides of change. You might just as well have rolled up in the Sunday Times and flushed yourself with a degree of comfort."
No one really understood what any of that meant, but the applause lasted for well on 30 minutes while drinks were served.
NASA and JPL would speak again to close the night with an announcement that they would convert a large SUV model into a fully functional spacecraft, and offer it to the public, alongside the Ford Fusion and Chevy Volt. "We feel that we can do this for about $1.6 million a copy. Well within the price range of those who rode the stock market down into the depths of hell."
The Personal SUV Space vehicle is expected to get about 11 miles to the gallon.