Realistic Superhero Headlines: The Fantastic Four

May 27, 2010

Cape Canaveral, FL  – Scientists at NASA are keeping a relatively tight lip on what many are calling the worst space tragedy since the Endeavor in 1992.  There is palpable sadness on the faces of every employee in Cape Canaveral for the small flight crew of Reed Richards, Ben Grimm and siblings Johnny and Sue Storm.  It was reported late last night that the crew was unresponsive to communication after a burst of cosmic radiation bombarded their shuttle, disrupting their instruments and almost certainly killing those inside.

The project, labeled Stellar 4, was funded in part by NASA and but mostly from the own personal trust-fund of Richards, an Empire State doctoral graduate and highly prodigious astro-physicist.  His hope was to launch and pilot the first spacecraft capable of interstellar travel.  Critics say that the project was too important to not have full government control, however, recent cut-backs to NASA’s budget by President Obama made it necessary to involve private funding as well.

They intended to travel to another star system and back, but a solar flare temporarily boosted the intensity of the ionizing radiation in Earth’s Van Allen belt.

Early statements from NASA spokesperson Dom Bolldin show a wanton ignorance of the situation.  “We don’t really even know if their dead.  Maybe they’ll come back with superpowers.  Maybe they will be able to stretch their bodies like rubber or become invisible.”

Physician Dr. Margret Putsmiller is not so sanguine about the possibility that the crew survived.

“They are definitely dead.  Cosmic rays can have energies of over 1020 electron volts, far higher than even man-made particle accelerators can produce,” she said.  “Do you have any idea what that would do to human tissue?  It’d be like sticking bacon in a nuclear reactor.”

“They’re dead,” she added.  “No question about it.”

The President will be making a statement tomorrow afternoon regarding the tragedy.

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