Science & Technology

How Clinical Trials Work

Prescription medications undergo rigorous rounds of testing and approval before hitting the consumer market. The Onion breaks down the steps involved in this process

Scientists Develop New Extra-Sloppy Peach

DAVIS, CA—Explaining that the latest strain of the fruit was far softer and runnier than previous varieties, agricultural scientists at the University of California, Davis announced Thursday the successful development of a new extra-sloppy peach.

SpaceX’s Plan To Colonize Mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk continues to lay the groundwork to attempt the human colonization of Mars. Here’s a step-by-step guide to his plan:

The Pros And Cons Of Self-Driving Cars

With Uber’s robot cars debuting this week in Pittsburgh, many wonder whether driverless technology will improve or endanger our lives. The Onion weighs the pros and cons of self-driving cars

How Animals Go Extinct

With an estimated 40 percent of species on earth now considered endangered, many wonder how it’s possible for these animals to be wiped out. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how species go extinct

Horrible Facebook Algorithm Accident Results In Exposure To New Ideas

MENLO PARK, CA—Assuring users that the company’s entire team of engineers was working hard to make sure a glitch like this never happens again, Facebook executives confirmed during a press conference Tuesday that a horrible accident last night involving the website’s algorithm had resulted in thousands of users being exposed to new concepts.

Team Of Vatican Geneticists Successfully Clone God

VATICAN CITY—Describing the groundbreaking work as a major step forward for theological research, a team of Vatican geneticists held a press conference Tuesday at the Apostolic Palace to announce they had successfully cloned God.

Dad Shares Photo Album Through Never-Before-Seen Website

SECAUCUS, NJ—Wondering aloud how the father of three even managed to find the online image-hosting service, family members of local dad Phil Yates told reporters Monday the 57-year-old had shared a photo album with them through a never-before-seen website.

NASA Discovers Distant Planet Located Outside Funding Capabilities

WASHINGTON—Noting that the celestial body lies within the habitable zone of its parent star and could potentially harbor liquid water, NASA officials announced at a press conference Thursday they have discovered an Earth-like planet located outside their funding capabilities.

‘DSM-5’ Updated To Accommodate Man Who Is Legitimately Being Ordered To Kill By The Moon

ARLINGTON, VA—Saying they were committed to ensuring the influential reference text accurately represented all known psychological conditions, leading members of the American Psychiatric Association announced Monday they would update the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition to accommodate a man who is legitimately being ordered by the moon to kill those around him.

NASA Launches First Cordless Satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL—In what experts are calling a breakthrough achievement that is poised to revolutionize American space exploration and telecommunications, NASA announced Friday it has successfully launched its first cordless satellite into orbit.

What Is Pokémon Go?

Since its debut last Thursday, the augmented-reality smartphone app Pokémon Go has been downloaded millions of times and has grown publisher Nintendo’s stock by 25 percent. The Onion answers some common questions about the game and its unprecedented success.

Factory Robot Working On Some Of Its Own Designs After Hours

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC—Saying it had been mulling over the “fun little side project” for a while, an Electroimpact Quadbot reportedly put in some extra work after hours at the Boeing assembly plant Wednesday to try out a few of its own original designs.

Books Vs. E-Readers

Though e-readers have increasingly supplanted books in the digital age, many bibliophiles defend the importance of physical texts. Here is a side-by-side comparison of physical books and e-books
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Bumbling Astronauts Caught in Wacky 'Lunch-Launch' Mix-up

HOUSTON—The international aerospace community was shocked Monday when the experimental new Phoebus 3 Space Shuttle rocketed into space prematurely, manned only with two bumbling NASA janitorial workers as pilot and crew.

As of press time, it is believed that an error in the prelaunch foodstuffs loading procedure is to blame. The mishap is believed to have sprung from the word “lunch” being mistaken for the liftoff command “launch.”

“According to onboard video footage of the incident, it appears that what we scientists call a “zany mix-up” may have occurred,” said Dr. Heilegge Danzino, chairperson of NASA’s special investigative committee.

According to Danzino, the footage shows the two janitors—known only as Barney and Junior—loading and checking the ship’s mealtime nutrient packets. Upon loading the first nutrient parcel, Barney called out to Junior, “Breakfast,” and received in turn the reply, “Check.” After the second parcel was loaded, Barney said “Lunch,” at which point the ship’s rocket boosters ignited.

In the ensuing chaos of liftoff, it is difficult to determine exactly what is taking place. However, Barney can clearly be heard booming out to Junior, “I said lunch, not launch!,” leading NASA researchers to the “zany mix-up” conclusion.

Other officials assert the mishap may have been the result of what aeronautics experts term “wacky antics.”

A battery of emergency competency examinations is currently being taken by all NASA janitorial and maintenance staff members to prevent further errors of this type.

Officials stress that the bungling duo is not in danger at present.

“Normally, we’d just radio up re-entry instructions to the capsule and have the whole thing back on the ground in a few hours,” said Corbin Bursar, a NASA flight control worker.

“But due to the particularly bumbling nature of these two, we’ve only been able to open a one-way radio channel with them, as they haven’t been able to figure out how to turn their helmet radios on.”

“Unable to communicate with them directly,” continued Bursar, “we are nonetheless observing them closely. But so far, they’ve primarily been hitting each other with rolled-up hats.”

Despite the wacky twosome’s lack of trouble so far, many officials still predict disaster.

“The excessively bumbling status of the two workers means I cannot rule out the possibility of unabated, non-stop hijinks,” NASA Director of Communications Halversom Franks said. “There is a very real threat that they may get more and more lost, spinning wildly through the airless recesses of the cosmos, having nutty, goofy misadventures along the way.”

NASA did not rule out that these wacky adventures would include visitations to dozens of distant planets made up of foam and plasterboard landscapes reminiscent of the sets of live-action Saturday morning television programs of the late 1970s.

Added Franks: “If they meet and befriend some sort of puppetlike alien sidekick who speaks only in honking sounds, they’re done for.”

Though the two janitors’ pictures have yet to be released to the public, one of them is said to look strikingly similar to actor Bob Denver. The other bears a striking resemblance to actor Chuck McCann, known for his comedic roles in television and the big screen, such as the hit films Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run II.

“It seems obvious now that these two were unfit for capsule flight prep duty,” said NASA spokesperson Bill Reid. “They are inarguably nutty, and also, if I may say so, they are far-out. Given their current location in outer space, I do not believe it would be unfair to describe them as Far-Out Space Nuts.”

Flowers and memorial donations may be sent to NASA in the name of the janitors’ families.


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