Cape Canaveral, Florida - The FBI has thwarted a plot by Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) to hijack the final mission of the US space shuttle and fly the craft to Mars.
"You can take the sky away from an old Navy pilot, but you can't take the old Navy pilot out of the sky," McCain told reporters from his cell in the Kennedy Space Center's brig. "I wanted to fly to Mars and bring the American way of life to another planet."
The space shuttle Endeavor is scheduled to be launched on Friday. Its mission, the final one of the 30 year shuttle program, is to deliver a year's worth of supplies to the International Space Station.
According to FBI sources, McCain had planned to use his Senate credentials to gain access to the space shuttle's cargo bay, where he would stow away among the supplies.
"I was going to pop out as soon as we were in orbit and surprise the crew with my trusty Winchester," McCain said. "It's the same rifle I use to pop those illegals who are trying to cross the Mexican border."
The senator's plot was foiled by a TSA agent who was conducting a full body pat down of McCain at Phoenix international Airport. A box of .44 caliber cartridges was discovered "where the sun don't shine."
McCain came to public attention in the late 60s, when his Navy dive bomber was shot down in Vietnam. He was taken prisoner, but not before he successfully thwarted an invasion of America by the Vietnamese.
Since then, he has become an expert on everything, including space travel. "I was tired of seeing the shuttle fly around in circles," McCain said. "I wanted to take it into the history books."
More than a few reporters pointed out to McCain that the shuttle had neither the fuel or supplies for a return trip from Mars. But that did not faze the Senator:
"I was planning on handling that challenge just the way we take care of things here in the Senate. Forget about the problem, and it will eventually go away."
Since McCain's hijack plot would've taken place outside the judicial boundaries of the United States, he cannot be tried in US courts. "We've already tried to hand him back to the Vietnamese, but they refuse to take him," one Justice Department official said. "I guess there's always Gitmo."