Written by Jerry Cornelium
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Topics: Mars, moon

Sunday, 17 April 2005

image for Titan Pictures Phony
Doctoring

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL --- If you thought the newly released pictures of Saturn's most interesting moon, Titan, looked an awful lot like the Viking shots of Mars taken in the 1970s, you're right. Recently leaked information revealed that the Cassini-Huygens space probe veered off course, after a software glitch caused it to take a wrong turn at Rhea, another Saturn moon.

In light of several embarrassing mishaps at NASA over the last few years, which included solar probe crashes, deadly shuttle explosions, and food shortages on the International Space Station, upper level management officials apparently "strongly implied" that it would be in recently transferred NASA intern Sam Croydon's "best interest" to help out with "a situation". The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated Croydon had been transferred from his previous post at the Palomar observatory because he allegedly doctored up photographs of celestial objects, making them look like "boobs" and "asses".

"It's the kind of stuff that gets you fired at other places," the source stated. "But here, we can put this sort of talent to use."

Croydon is said to have taken old photographs from previous Viking missions to Mars and then used a several graphics programs to alter them a bit.

"This happens all the time here," the source explained. "Take all the moon shots, for example. There were no real moon shots. I mean think about it. Why would anyone smart enough to get advanced degrees in physics and mathematics be dumb enough to sit in a space capsule on top of hundreds and thousands of tons of highly explosive fuel? Heck, I have two PhDs, and I'm getting paid on the GS scale."

But not all NASA employees feel this way. One of the scientists working for the troubled government agency who feels its mission is one that ought to be taken seriously is Ellis Richardson. Richardson, director of the Palomar observatory, is the person who arranged for Croydon's transfer.

"Sounds like Sam has been sent to just the right place," he stated wryly. "Canaveral is where we send all the comedians, so the rest of us can get the real work done."

Louis Krantz, who is responsible for planning shuttle missions at Canaveral, stated he didn't appreciate Richardson's comment.

"Maybe I should book him a seat on the next shuttle, so he can see just how serious we are here," he stated.

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

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