The successful landing of Curiosity — the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet — marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future.”
However, the atmosphere changed dramatically this morning. As JPL scientists came to work, they were perplexed to be greeted by a group of noisy animal rights protestors at the entrance to the Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena, California.
Michael Bunkie, from Stop Alien Exploitation Now, told a group of reporters gathered at the scene that:
These experiments have been done before and nothing came out of them. How many times do we have to land on Mars to just look at rocks? I mean, all of them look the same! We already have space junk on Mars. Why do we need more? This is clearly duplicative research done at the taxpayer expense and it must stop.”
Mr. Bunkie said he will FOIA every employee at NASA to obtain more information on what he called “an outrageous waste of resources.”
Dr. Maximus Ego, a retired physician and long-time scientific advisor to Bunkie, added:
“There is really nothing we can learn on Mars that will help humans. Chaos theory and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle guarantee that even if life originated first on Mars, nothing we learn about its evolutionary history will be applicable to us. I have published a 300-page long proof of this obvious statement (available from Amazon for $12). After all, they are Martians and we are humans. Isn’t this obvious to NASA and its so-called scientists?”
When asked about the potential benefits of the research claimed by the space agency Dr. Ego added:
Gimme a break! This is clearly curiosity-driven research. Nothing else, nothing more. They even named the rover ‘Curiosity’! It is unacceptable for them to keep misleading the public by saying the questions at hand have any significance for advancing well-being on Earth. This type of research is worse than the discovery of the Higgs Boson!”
As JPL scientists quickly walked past, Dr. Ego ran after them screaming “I challenge you to a debate! Come on, I challenge you to a debate! Do you know what a hypothesis is? Do you?!”
Meanwhile, Rick Bungled, of the Alliance for Microbial Ethics, stood by silently holding a sign that read “How like us are they?” When asked about its meaning Mr. Bungled explained:
How can we be invading Mars when we know there is a chance there might be life there? We must give these hypothetical organisms the benefit of the doubt, and assume they are sentient and conscious life forms just like us. For humans to gratuitously invade other planets is nothing more than a sign of our decadence. We have already destroyed Earth and now we are going to destroy the rest of the Universe. Humans are nothing but evil monsters (except me, of course). The Universe would be a better place if we all killed ourselves (I mean, if you killed yourselves).”
Nearby, Dr. Andrew Smoothtalk, from the Humane Planetary Society, said his organization held a much more moderate position.
“Of course we support science. But we are now in the 21st century and have developed advanced computers, such as IBM’s Watson which can defeat you at Jeopardy. Clearly, we have the technology to simulate the origin of the solar system. We could send a virtual rover to a simulated Mars and explore simulated life in this simulated planet. We could even give scientists 100 bonus points for a good landing! Given these new methods, which these NASA scientists are completely unaware of, we think time has come for NASA to switch these type of space exploration with more cost-effective methods than studying the real thing” Waving out a piece of paper he pulled form his pocket he exclaimed “Here, I have with me a pledge that NASA can sign which already counts with the support of about 800 Raelians.”
NASA/JPL reacted to the criticism by circulating an email to the press this morning stating that they have serious and important work to do and are not planning on wasting precious time in responding to the activist’s allegations.
A masked activist, after being told of the NASA statement, said the activist will continue their relentless work to make space exploration stop “by all means necessary” — and walked away with a Molotov cocktail under his arm. “To educate the neighbors” — he clarified. Mr. Bungled, standing next to him, sighed deeply and explained that “the continued refusal by scientists to engage with activists can only lead to violent actions by the underground. Don’t tell us we didn’t warn you.”
Disclaimer: Although this may look like a real story you might have read over the past year or two, it is in fact satire. Any resemblance to actual living persons is…err…purely coincidental and not to be taken (too) seriously.
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