On the heels of the spectacular success of NASA’s Jupiter probe, Juno, the celebrated space agency, today, announced that they intend to visit Youranus, by as early as 2024.
“We have been working on plans to visit Youranus for a long time now, but until recently, the budget and more importantly, the interest just hasn’t been there. Juno has changed all of that,” said Bill Quasar, head of NASA’s Youranus team. “This plan is audacious in both its scope and complexity, but we’re confident, that we’ll have a probe orbiting Youranus before the end of the next decade.”
The probe, called The Fist of Zeus, or just the Fist for short, is a piece of billion dollar technology, with some of the most advanced and sensitive scientific instruments ever invented.
“We all know that Youranus is a gas giant, so a lot of our instruments are geared toward measuring the gas composition of this behemoth, but there’s other stuff going on there too,” said Janet Cheeks, lead scientist and designer of many of the experiments that will be carried out during the mission, “did you know that our telescopes have detected plumes of some sort of matter being ejected from Youranus’ core, almost on a daily basis, and there appears to be billions of indentations, pock marked all across the surface, almost like space cellulite.”
The Fist will also have a unique piece of architecture, one that will allow NASA to actually take readings directly from Youranus’ gassy atmosphere. The Rectal Probe, named after its inventor, Greg Rectal, who holds Ph.D’s in chemistry, space meteorology and early interpretive dance, is revolutionary in its design and use. “We’re going to be able to fly right on the edge of Youranus’ surface and dip this three-mile-long probe directly into Youranus. We’ll be able to do this over and over again. The information that we’re going to get from this baby is going to allow us to drill as deep as we’ve ever gone into the mysteries of Youranus.”
Set for launch in 2021, it will take the probe three years to arrive at Youranus. “Boy Youranus is going to be surprised when we show up,” said Quasar.
In the meantime, while the team continues to prepare, other, smaller missions will be launched in support of the Youranus mission.
“We’re going to be sending a probe, called the Hand of Apollo, to a comet called Cockinballs,” said Cheeks. The comet, named after the amateur astronomer who discovered it, Gilly Cockinballs, is a tiny little space rock orbiting just outside Mars. “We’re going to gently land the Hand on Cockinballs, really more of a caress than anything, and give our team some real hands on experience with a lot of the instruments that will be making the trip to Youranus.”
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Quasar, “but this team is up to the challenge.”
When asked what missions may lie beyond Youranus, Quasar cracked a sly smile and said, “It’s kind of pie in the sky right now, but I think one day we’ll be able to make to Planet Vag.” Quasar is of course referring to the recently discovered, ninth planet, orbiting on the far fringes of our known solar system, whose presence has only been inferred, not actually confirmed. “It’s the dream of every scientist here to one day make it there, hell even just to get a look would be amazing. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve sat alone, eating a TV dinner in my apartment, just dreaming about going to Planet Vag, I mean, I’ve simulated it a billion times on my computer. I’ve gone through so many boxes of Kleenex,” Quasar’s eyes began to water and he wiped at them with his hand, “It just makes me cry.”
The space agency has a lot of work ahead of it but Quasar is hopeful, “Whether or not Planet Vag ever becomes a reality, one thing is for sure, we’re going to Youranus.”