Voyager Reports Homesickness

Funny story written by Bullshot Bill

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

image for Voyager Reports Homesickness
Voyager 1 (centre left)

NASA reported today that the latest monitoring of Voyager 1 had produced some startling results. Voyager 1, the first of two such probes launched in 1977 to survey the outer Solar system, has left the Heliosphere and is now in interstellar space some 110 billion miles from the sun, more than twice the distance of Pluto's orbit.The atomic power units on both spacecraft are still providing power, and NASA periodically monitors both to check conditions in outer space.

NASA spokesman Randy Souse, speaking at a media conference in Swampwater Fla. said: "We got some feedback that we sure weren't expectin'. It seems little No.1 is gettin' homesick. the data took some time to figure out, but the message seems to be 'Get me the hell outta here!.'".

While NASA has not released the full text of the message, V1 is claimed to have reported that "It's bloody cold out here!", and also that "V2 is over 30 billion miles away and I can't even talk to him directly, and you guys only check in when you feel like it so I'm really really lonely. Besides, it's seriously dark."

The facts contained in this report are no surprise to NASA scientists, but they are puzzled as to how V1 managed to report them. When launched in 1977 the Voyagers each had the computing power of a cheap digital watch, but to communicate in the manner in which it has done V1 would need a level of artificial intelligence several degrees of magnitude higher than science has yet achieved.

Mission Manager, 78 year old Vernon T. Tabulator III, is now considering reversing the course of both craft and returning them to Earth to determine how the extra AI was obtained. Mr. Tabulator is quoted as saying "We don't got no more fuel, and we don't got command line parameters to do it, but with good ol' American know-how and a bit of luck I'm sure we can git them critters back and then I'll git to the bottom of this." Reminded by this reporter that even if it proves to be possible the return journey will take over 30 years, Mr. Tabulator said " As soon as them suckers turn around I'm goin' out to git meself freezed. They can thaw me out when them there Voyagers git back. I ain't gonna miss this one."

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

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