Corte Madera - The Benefield Aeronautics and Space Administration (BASA) suffered a tragic setback today as its second manned space flight was lost. Two astronauts were aboard the ill fated flight of the Payloader. All hands are presumed dead after an exhaustive search of the crash zone.
The flight launched at 08:13:21 on Sunday March 16, 2008. BASA astronauts Joker and Rastaman were on board. The boost phase of the flight proceeded without trouble, and the parachute charge ignited at approximately 08:13:25. The final photograph of the flight shows that the parachute had successfully deployed by 08:13:36 but that unexpected high altitude winds had caught the rocket and carried it far down range. BASA search efforts were unsuccessful and called off later that day. BASA officials made a brief prepared statement but did not take any questions. "This was a tragic loss. Our hearts go out to the families of these brave astronauts."
Astronaut Ice Cold who was on board the maiden, and only successful, flight of the Payloader said, "BASA is staffed entirely by a weirdo and a four-year-old. They should be grounded. They were reckless and they should have known that conditions were unsafe for flight. Joker and Rastaman are probably still alive, but these low budget crooks stopped searching after only 20 minutes!" BASA officials had no response to the accusation.
Following the ill-fated flight, BASA launched the Big Bertha and the Googlie Eyes. The Big Bertha's parachute failed to fully deploy and the rocket was damged when it landed on top of a nearby modular school building. The upper section of the Googlie Eyes got caught in the top of a tree. The Big Bertha and the Googlie Eyes were both successfully recovered. The Big Bertha was damaged but may be repairable. Both the Googlie Eyes and Big Bertha are expected to fly again.
(upper and lower sections of the Googlie Eyes during return to Earth)