HOUSTON—Rushing into a press conference mere minutes after lift-off, NASA officials frantically announced a mission to the Earth’s core Friday after accidentally launching a Atlas V rocket upside down. “Today, I’m excited to announce that we’ve successfully launched—let’s see. Well, I guess we’ll just call this the first-ever manned mission to explore this planet’s core,” said sweat-covered and visibly panicked NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, who paused momentarily to put up a crudely drawn diagram labeled “Core Shot 2020” depicting the rocket burrowing through the planet’s crust towards its 10,000-degree-Fahrenheit inner core. “Thanks to the ship’s powerful boosters and its pointed tip, we anticipate the rocket might conceivably break through the Earth’s mantle and reach its destination within the year. I also cannot stress enough the bravery of the two astronauts inside the rocket, who are presumably okay with all of this. You know, some might even say a NASA expedition to the Earth’s core was long overdue.” At press time, NASA officials expressed hope that the rocket would exit the other side of the Earth and proceed on its previously planned mission to restock the International Space Station by 2021.
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