EDGE OF KNOWN SPACE — Stunned and wide-eyed representatives from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) today announced that the spacecraft known as Voyager 1, launched in 1977, officially left the solar system at 11:05 a.m. Wednesday morning and immediately crashed into a large black façade that appears to completely encircle the entire solar system.
“We’ve been anticipating Voyager 1 leaving our solar system for some time,” said visibly-stunned JPL spokeswoman Veronica MacGregor. “But I don’t think any of us thought the probe would run into a wall. We’re all kind of freaked out right now.”
Initial reports that Voyager 1 had left the solar system were walked back by NASA, and later amended to say that rather than exiting the solar system, the craft had actually entered a new region of space within the heliosphere which it would need to cross before officially entering interstellar space. “But about ten minutes after that, the damn thing crashed into a friggin outer-space backdrop, so the whole argument is pretty much moot,” said Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist, looking stricken and shell-shocked.
According to JPL, Voyager 1 appears to have smashed into the inside of a large, wooden sphere that is encircling the entire solar system. What may lie outside the sphere is as yet unknown, but the existence of the sphere would seem to indicate both that everything mankind has ever thought about space is wrong and that we are not alone in the universe. If, in fact, there is such a thing as a universe.
“For all we know, we could be inside a massive snow globe on God’s desk,” said Leonard Burlaga, a Voyager magnetometer team member based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “I think I’m gonna vomit.”
Voyager project manager Suzanne Dodd offered another explanation. “We haven’t really said much about this openly, but we picked up some images from Pluto and Uranus that look like giant camera lenses pointed at Earth,” she said. “We chose to ignore them because we didn’t want to create a panic by implying that mankind’s entire existence is being recorded like some sort of galactic Truman Show.”
“But after today, well, start panicking. And hope we don’t get cancelled.”