Aspiring Astronauts remain oblivious about the end of the space program.
Houston Texas, a crew of blue suited men stand looking excitedly at a rocket they’ll never fly. It’s early in 2010 and already the Olympia shuttle has taken its last ever flight before retirement. So why is it still up? “We just didn’t have the heart to tell the other astronauts.” Says senior engineer Hank Malbourough. “They have trained their whole lives for this. What do we do? Just tell them to leave?” Some in the government think that would be for the best. “These guys have physics degrees for crying out loud.” States a seemingly furious Alabama state Senator Gregory Barnes. “You’re telling me they can’t do something else? Isn’t the planet supposed to be getting hotter or something? Make them work on that!” If only it were that simple; many of these increasingly older people have training that only pertains to space travel. These people and, others like them, are the result of years of childhood conditioning that turned thousands of our young people into firemen, police officers, ballerinas and ‘army guys’. Irresponsible parents fostered these desires to such a degree that today almost every job as an astronaut, ballerina, or fireman is taken. “These are fields you just can’t break into nowadays.” Franklin Murberry, a vocational therapist who works with people dealing with the disappointment of not attaining their childhood dreams.
A condition he calls Discontentinitious. “We are seeing more and more of it these days. These poor men and women who are never going to get into space are just a small fraction of people affected by Discontentinitous.” One young woman thinking of applying to the space program who declined to comment had this to say. “My mom always said if I tried hard enough I could do anything I wanted, and if I really wanted to go into space then I would do it. Now I can see what a sham the whole thing was. I wonder sometimes if she was even my mother.” NASA officials are reeling over the bad press being generated and many feel misunderstood. “Do you have any idea how much gasoline and money it takes to shoot a person into space? And really what have we been shooting them up there for; to see how ants react to being in zero g? They are ants! They float. We were basically paying glorified lab techs to build billion dollar ant farms.” Head scientist and avid sculptor Theodore T. Barnum claims that Discontentinitous is a fictional disease like “Lime disease.” He went on to say. “You’d think I personally went over to their houses while they were sleeping and spit on their hopes and aspirations. Its not our fault people don’t care about space anymore!” The question of whether or not to tell these aspiring cosmonauts the truth is one that weighs heavily on the minds of some, who worry that eventually the astronauts may go rogue and attempt to steal the shuttles to go on some sort of crazy mission to save humanity like in that movie Armageddon. While still others seem unconcerned. “Astronauts will do pretty much whatever you tell them. In space it’s a life or death thing, so you really have to listen to the people on the ground. They will totally keep doing whatever we tell them. There has also been talk of building a ‘Sub orbital’ station that would sit just outside of our offices.”
The ‘Sub Orbital Station would consist of a grounded space station for the astronauts to occupy. The state of the art facility would come complete with stars projected on every window, cold lifeless corridors and doors that seal from the outside, giving one the impression that you really are ‘trapped in the vacuum of space.’ Is this a solution to astronaut overcrowding and dealing with a small portion of Discontentinitous sufferers? Many think so, and plans are moving ahead. “We already have more than half the thing built, the trick will just be getting the astronauts into it without letting on that they are actually still on the ground.” Says Harold Mumsen, lead designer on the project. “We are going to let them sit in the space shuttle but only for a little while. They will be blindfolded, and it will sound almost the same. They won’t ever know the difference!” Whether it fools these hopeful space walkers is still yet to be seen, but the plan will go ahead and looks to be completed around 2024.
Kristian Warburton Senior Scientific correspondent.