Friday, 26 September 2008

The funniest news this week

China posts fake rocket launch story

CHINA'S leading Xinhua news agency reported the successful flight of the Shenzhou VII - complete with detailed dialogue between the
astronauts - hours before the nation's third-ever manned space mission had even lifted off. On Thursday morning, Xinhua posted a story on its website saying the Shenzhou capsule had been successfully tracked flying over the Pacific Ocean even though the rocket and its three astronauts had not yet been launched. The article, dated September 27, described the rocket in flight, complete with a sharply detailed dialogue between the three astronauts. Excerpts are below: "After this order, signal lights all were switched on, various data show up on rows of screens, hundreds of technicians staring at the screens, without
missing any slightest changes ... "One minute to go!' 'Changjiang No.1 found the target! ... "The firm voice of the controller broke the silence of the whole ship. Now, the target is captured 12 seconds ahead of the predicted time ... "The air pressure in the cabin is normal!"Ten minutes later, the ship disappears below the horizon. Warm clapping and excited cheering breaks the night sky, echoing across the silent Pacific Ocean." An editor at Xinhau told AFP that the story had been posted due to a technical problem. "We dealt with it after we had found it," the editor said.
I love those last two lines. No explanations as to why they were writing stories in advance of them happening, but an assurance that it was dealt with, whatever that means. In other news, Shenzhou did succesfully take off. However whether the mission will be succesful is another question. This from the Guardian:
The state media said investigations showed that most of those taken ill had consumed milk labelled with the Sanlu brand. The company is China's biggest milk powder producer, with almost a fifth of the market, and is the dairy supplier to the country's space programme.
Will this mission end in melamine-inspired failure? Only time will tell. Stay tuned, my fellow taikonauts.

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