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‘Star Wars’ Turns 40

When George Lucas’ Star Wars premiered in 1977, the movie quickly became a phenomenon. On its 40th anniversary, The Onion looks back on the franchise’s defining moments:

Mom Finds Disturbing Reading Material In Teenage Son’s Bedroom

OMAHA, NE—Saying she felt disgusted and saddened by the shocking discovery, local woman Beth Loomis told reporters Thursday that she was deeply disturbed after finding recruitment reading material from the Baylor University football team in her teenage son’s bedroom.

Most Notable Google Ventures

Ten years ago this week, Google Street View launched, offering panoramic views of locations all over the world. As the tech giant continues to debut new projects, The Onion highlights some of Google’s most ambitious ventures to date:

Rural Working-Class Archbishops Come Out In Droves To Welcome Trump To Vatican

VATICAN CITY—Arriving in their dusty pickup trucks from as far away as the dioceses of Oria and Locri-Gerace to express their support for a leader who they say embodies their interests and defends their way of life, droves of rural working-class archbishops reportedly poured into St. Peter’s Square today to greet U.S. president Donald Trump during his visit to the Vatican.

Rookie First Baseman Nervous To Chat With Baserunners

ATLANTA—Noting how important it is to make a good first impression, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie first baseman Josh Bell told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves that he’s still nervous about chatting with opposing baserunners.
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NASA Launches David Bowie Concept Mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL—NASA officials announced today the successful launch of the new shuttle Moonage Daydream, marking the beginning of a long-anticipated two-week conceptual mission inspired by British rock star David Bowie.

The crew of ‘Moonage Daydream’ embark on the 4.5 billion dollar, genre-defying mission.

According to NASA administrator Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Jr., the highly experimental glam space program—dubbed Project Starman—has been in development for exactly five years. Though engineers initially feared the mission might “blow our minds,” the historic launch ultimately proceeded without incident.

“Admittedly, this is a very bold and risky departure for the agency,” said Bolden, later adding that Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust period and other outer-space-related work has been a major influence on NASA’s direction since the early 1970s. “Those familiar with NASA’s previous, more conventional research and exploration sensibilities are going to be in for quite a shock. Many are likely to be confused and threatened by the boundary-pushing nature of the project.”

“This mission certainly isn’t for everyone,” Bolden added.

NASA chief engineer Mike Ryschkewitsch said that Moonage Daydream differs from earlier shuttle models in several significant ways. Though the overall shape is similar to previous crafts, the exterior of the $4.5 billion vehicle has been fitted with improved shielding, making it better equipped to withstand the hazy cosmic jive.

In addition to the shuttle redesign, several other daring changes have been made to NASA’s equipment. According to Ryschkewitsch, the astronauts, or “spaceboys,” as they will be called during the mission, are equipped with state-of-the-art pressurized suits.

NASA's re-designed Spirit rover, nicknamed 'Leper Messiah,' will measure if sunlight striking the Martian surface is strong enough to produce a snow white tan.

“These new suits are veneered with a protective silver lamé to complement the multicolored lightning bolts emblazoned across the helmets’ sun visors,” Ryschkewitsch said. “They’ve also been updated with several improved components to ensure the team is completely safe when it’s time to leave the capsule—if they dare.”

The five-member crew is made up entirely of United States Air Force officers and includes Maj. Tom Louis, Maj. Tom Greely, Maj. Tom Ohweiler, Maj. Thomas Sinclair, and Maj. Tom Keenan.

While the mission will primarily study paranoia, decadence, and the fluidity of sexual identity in a zero-gravity environment, additional scientific testing will be conducted during the shuttle’s 14-day orbit of Earth.

“One of the experiments we’re most excited about will address the effects of Mars-like conditions on several different species of arachnids,” NASA biologist Norman Stern said.

Public response to the project has been generally positive. Many Americans, however, consider the mission an egotistical and self-indulgent waste of taxpayer money.

“I just don’t see this launch having any sort of lasting influence on future space exploration,” St. Louis attorney Kevin Moran said. “Certainly NASA has to take risks to further mankind’s knowledge, but this mission is simply too ambitious in scope to sustain mainstream interest.”

Added Moran, “It’s pretty out there.”

Though NASA has defended the importance of Project Starman, it has reportedly scrapped a T. Rex–inspired mission named Project Interstellar Soul, saying that the launch of the zinc-alloy probe Venus Loon was made laughably irrelevant by the current program.

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Mom Finds Disturbing Reading Material In Teenage Son’s Bedroom

OMAHA, NE—Saying she felt disgusted and saddened by the shocking discovery, local woman Beth Loomis told reporters Thursday that she was deeply disturbed after finding recruitment reading material from the Baylor University football team in her teenage son’s bedroom.

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