NASA Rethinks Decision to Send Phil Collins Into Space
Innocuous 80s Pop Star And Just-Slightly-Above-Unremarkable Prog Rock Drummer’s Space Mission in Question.
April 27, 2016. NASA Headquarters. Washington, DC.
At a press conference earlier this week in Washington DC, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) all but confirmed that no one in the world renowned space agency knows exactly how or why it spent millions of dollars to send pop star Phil Collins into space.
“All we can say for sure is that there was a milti-departmental snafu of some sort that carried this specific mission to fruition.” Spokesperson Danielle Bigley said at the conference. “We believe it started in the mail room as a joke and just… kind of… made it up the ranks somehow. Our efforts now are focused on returning him to earth safely and… letting him get on with whatever it was he was doing.”
No one in the mail room was available for comment, but workers in the cafeteria claimed not to know anything about it.
“Heh… kind’a funny though.” Paul, a desserts table worker said before his manager cut him a stern glance that sent him back to obediently dishing out Raspberry Jello.
Taxpayers rights advocacy groups are calling foul on the mission and question protocol.
“I’m more than a bit concerned that an agency such as NASA not only uses the term ‘snafu’ when it comes to something as costly and wasteful as this, but the fact that such a ‘snafu’ could happen at all! Bureaucracy was created specifically to prevent these sorts of things from happening!” Todd Butterworth, the vice-chair of Taxpayers Uncovering Redundancies Department (TURD) “One would expect that, when it comes to screening for potential employees, the human resources department at NASA would have robust practices. Apparently that’s not the case.”
Though the official position is that of a ‘snafu’ and no one seems to be taking any responsibility for the error, several NASA scientists have come forth arguing the merits of the project.
“Space needs a lot of things. Have you seen it up there? It’s really mostly just empty. That’s how it got it’s name. Space needs all sorts of things sent up there to see how we’ll fare in it. It needs botanists and physicists, doctors… mechanics… lots of tings. Space also needs middle-of-the-road drummers. It’s science!” Undrich Nadslow, a spacial physicist at NASA told us.
“I just thought it would really annoy the other astronauts.” Wendy Mitchell, a NASA psychologist, said when we spoke to her by phone (which was odd as she was sitting across the table from us claiming it was part of a study she was doing.) “We need to know how people in space will relate to one another if things aren’t fully copacetic amongst the crew. There might be resentment that one of the crew up there is, in regards to space-related work at least, pretty much useless. We figured a drummer might add to the tension by tapping on all sorts of things a lot. I really liked the choice of Collins as he is generally not very intrusive as a person. Projects like this, from my department’s standpoint at least, have to start small. We couldn’t have sent Kid Rock up there or Paulie Shore or anything…. not at this stage anyway. Collins was a good fit. I think his persona is actually what helped him get up there almost completely unnoticed. But I was all for it.”
“Don’t question science you plebe! Once you understand the full complexity of your elementary school geometry set, come back and talk to me. Do you even know what 5/8 timing is? Now got out of my way, peon.” A dark, brooding scientist with a popped-collar lab coat, junior Einstein hair and a wholly rebel attitude said as he pushed by us to get to the Jello cart.
After several days of pressure, NASA finally agreed to allow us to communicate with Mr. Collins aboard the International Space Station.
“H’lo? Yes? Oh, well ah… y’know I was just really happy that someone called, you know?” Collins said in a pleasant, unassuming British accent. “I was sittin’ around my mansion is Extinshenshire, contemplating some uh… some interesting drum timing and thinking that it’s about time the synchronized dancing horn section made a comeback in music, kind of a ‘retro’ thing the kids would like… uh… yeah, so the phone rings and there’s this bloke asking me about space. I said ‘Look mate, I’v’nt done that sort of thing since the 70s! I’m clean now!’ Hahaha, y’know? And he clarifies that he means OUTER space… like… off the earth space. I asked him why me and he says that he’s got a stack of paperwork on his desk regarding it and… y’know, it all sounded very complicated and highbrow… so, I looked at my calendar and tell ‘im ok, y’know? Just… like that.”
When asked about his contribution to the project he said “well, I spend most of my days just taking selfies and not touching anything. It’s all very expensive and complicated… even more than arena rock shows! Yeah, I stay out of everyone’s way and write in my diary… thinking about some duets when I get back to earth.”
Regarding what he’s learned in his several weeks in space “Well, one thing for sure is that you can’t tap on anything up here. Nothing. The space station is a very sensitive piece of equipment. Apparently repeated tapping, even in a catchy, rhythmic fashion, on anything in here could result in pressure… something… destabilization of… something or other. It’s just a full-on no-go for tapping. Humming too. Humming is right out. That and, y’know, the standard existential crisis about how truly insignificant we all are and… wha? No, I’m on the phone with earth. No, for real this time! Oh… ok. — I’ve got to get going, there’s a bunch of things I’m supposed to go over and not touch in the Russian side… it’s been great chatting with you. Most I’ve talked this whole tr-”
The President, in a news conference, took a moment to address the issue. “Now, let me be perfectly clear, while I appreciate Phil Collins as a musician, the wife and I particularly enjoy Sussudio, I am concerned about this situation and am preparing a task force to investigate just how he got from his castle in… somethingorother England to space without anyone noticing. This is not how space exploration is done under my watch.”
None of Collins’ former bandmates from Genesis could be reached for comment. Nor could Sussudio.