Tragedy has struck after a major news conference at the Philae Science, Operations and Navigation Centre in France's CNES space agency, Toulouse.
Prof. Claude Clouseau director of Science and Robotic exploration gave a rousing speech to a gathering of the world's media.
"I am so appy to zee so many people in one rrroooom," said he.
"Did you mean "room"? " asked one reporter.
"Zat is what I sayed, you idi..ottt!..... Rrrrrrroooooommmm!"
The professor then went on to thank profusely all his scientific colleagues at the table, naming them one by one. And, as he spoke, he became more and more euphoric about their joint achievement of landing a robot on an orbiting rock. It was akin to Columbus discovering America, he intoned. It was such a remarkable feat for science that it would probably never be equalled. Without the support of his wife and family it might never have happened. The countless millions spent on the project had been money well spent because now we would be able to understand at last the evolution of the world and... everybody on it would be happy at last. Our ignorance about how the world really worked would be banished for good.
His passion visibly mounting the Professor ended with...
"Now de universe belong to us! The universe is OURS to keep foreverrr. There is nobody to take eet from us. De cosmo belong to sci..awnce. De cosmo belong to Mankind.... and above all to de banks ...to whom we all owe so much. Dees grate victorieee for Mankind weel be rememburred... foreverrr... and everrr!"
The speech received rapturous applause and a standing ovation that lasted over three minutes.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck an hour later as Professor Clouseau left the building. A large chunk of cement fell on his head, dropped by a worker who was busy fixing slates on the roof. Professor Clouseau was rushed immediately to hospital but, was pronounced "dead on arrival".
Said a colleague:
"It is a most unexpected tragedy, particularly for Claude. Nobody saw it coming. He had worked so hard on the project, his batteries were almost flat."
Paddy O'Flynn, the roofer held responsible for the accident, told a waiting reporter as he was bundled into a police van:
"Did the friggin' eejit not read the bloody signs we put all over the place;.....
"BEWARE OF FALLING DEBRIS!""