A spacecraft that has been in hibernation and is half a billion miles away has ‘woken up’ and made contact with the European Space Agency asking “did I leave the gas on”.
The Rosseta spacecraft left the earth in 2004 and was put to sleep 31 months ago to conserve energy, but all its time in hibernation it has had a niggling feeling it may not have turned the gas off.
“It woke up late Monday afternoon,” Gerhard Schwehm, mission manager for Rosetta, said. “We sent messages to check the equipment but it just replied ‘oh bugger’.”
“A quick check showed that the gas had been left on as well as the landing light. With energy prices constantly rising since 2004, the cost of the project to land a craft on a moving asteroid has now doubled.”
However, the extortionate bills are the least of the teams problems. Whilst catching up on the last 31 months the spacecraft has had to deal with news of Jimmy Savile’s death and subsequent discoveries, the horse meat scandal, and finding out Russell Brand is now seen as a credible political voice.
“It could just about handle all that,” Schwehm continues, “but ithas decided to shut back down and crash into the sun after being told Jim Davidson was back on television.”