SILVER SPRING, MD—In a press conference commending the bird’s tenacity in the face of serious obstacles, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials confirmed Wednesday that a determined seagull had finally made it into outer space. “Simply put, this bird flapped his little heart out, overcoming the hurdles of gravity and avian physiology in order to push himself into the reaches of space,” said NOAA administrator Richard W. Spinrad, who joined other researchers in bursting into applause when the seagull broke through Earth’s exosphere at 3:32 p.m. EDT and continued out into planetary orbit, a momentous milestone for his own species and birds everywhere. “Although we don’t yet know whether this inspiring bird will attain escape velocity and continue flying upwards into deep space, what we can say for certain is that he has taught us all a lesson about the power of perseverance. I mean, wow, he did it! The little guy really did it!” At press time, the researchers’ excitement had reportedly turned to despair after the seagull turned around, headed back toward Earth’s atmosphere, and burned up on reentry.