Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bird tows balloon around the world in record time. - Guest post

Greenville, SC (AP) - The Audobon Society released some stunning news today. News of something almost too amazing to be true. In what was previously a closely guarded secret, the Audobon Society has been working with NASA and the US Department of Defense to develop a super-secret spy mechanism, designed to look like an ordinary bird. Apparently, the bird looks so real, that the only clue it's a machine is inside the mouth, where access to the GPS and digital display are located.
The first sustained flight test of this device began last week in Cape Canaveral, timed to coincide with the Space Shuttle's recent mission to repair the Hubble telescope. NASA felt launching the test at that time would distract any and everyone from noticing the bird. They've been tracking the device around the globe over the past several days, with a fiber-optic cable tethered to the hot air balloon you see in the picture.
It was thought the hot air balloon would make the bird even less noticeable as it relayed valuable data to computers located on the balloon. In effect, the bird towed the hot air balloon around the world and has made it all the way back to Greenville, SC before turning south and heading back to the launch site.
Dr. Timothy "Slim Tim" Simmons tagged along in the balloon itself, monitoring the in-flight testing data. "It performed far better than we ever dreamed, failing only 1 out of 157 individual test tasks. It was remarkable. As soon as we install the radio control software, we'll be able to control the flight path from terra firma instead of a hot air balloon. We are all looking forward to that day."
NASA spokesman Bill Jameson declined comment, citing DOD regulations. The White House denied any involvement, but did say they felt this kind of technology might prove useful in future hostile engagements, allowing the US Military to render medical aid much quicker to wounded troops by pinpointing their exact global location to within 6 feet.
Eric over at The Edge of the Galaxy took my challenge and wrote the headline and story above to go along with the picture my wife took. He wins the big prize ($5) in my contest. Thanks Eric! The check is in the mail...


"The Edge" said...

Way cool! I always new I had a shot at journalism.....

Or at least, a creative enough mind to impress the readers of this column, er, the author, er the judge appointed by the author, er, well, you know what I mean.

So anyway - now that I "won", when do I get to by you lunch?????

Randy said...

Edge, thanks for competing. We should plan a lunch sometime. I get down to Columbia about once a week, but may skip the next few weeks.