NASA Experiences Worst PR Disaster Since Aldrin-Armstrong Gay Weekend Getaway
Astronaut Lisa Nowak, who was charged with the attempted first degree murder of a perceived rival in a twisted love triangle with colleague William “Billy-O” Oefelein, has brought NASA into its worst PR battle since the scandal surrounding Apollo 11, when Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong sneaked off together for a weekend deep in the secluded Framora Highlands.
The weekend tryst was scandalous at the time, and until recently remained the biggest black eye on the space exploration agency, which is now reeling from the affects of the Nowak debacle.
"This loose cannon [Nowak] has single-handedly destroyed the decades of painstaking PR work we did to erase the memory of...the get-together," said Chief of NASA operations Horace Gilbert, “as well as our efforts to make people forget about when rookie astronaut Bob [McCaffe] taped himself making lewd gestures and simulating oral sex on a sleeping cosmonaut [Mikhail Tyurin] in the International Space Station."
"This one will be a black spot on the otherwise nearly flawless record of NASA and its engineers,” he added with regret.
NASA's image recovered quickly from the Challenger and Columbia disasters in 1986 and 2003, respectively, in which the catastrophic failures served to renew interest in an otherwise unexciting space program. It wasn't until the space shuttle program began, however, that NASA clearly emerged from the embarrassment that were Neil Armstrong's first words as he stepped onto the lunar surface: "I just filled my diaper with about three gallons of my own urine and feces. This mike's not hot, right?"
The space program got off to a rocky start in the early 60's amid rumors of orgies and wife swapping between the Mercury astronauts, but quickly recovered after astronaut Al Worden's appearance on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. The Armstrong-Aldrin scandal and the infamous leaked list of "ten kinky things you never thought we could do with space suits" put the public's faith to the test once again, and analysts are drawing parallels between that events and Nowak's murderous diaper-toting trip from Texas to Florida.
Now, as in the 60's, NASA has to decide how best to protect its sterling image from further deprecation at the hands of Nowak. Many suggest that NASA ought to remind the media how far the administration has come since the days of its archaic tests of the effects of "race records" on the minds of white scientists in zero-gravity during the 1970's, or its refusal to allow re-entry into the atmosphere once it was found that payload specialist Rodolfo Neri Vela's work visa had expired.
"NASA has come far from the hard-livin' times of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs when astronauts would show up to press conferences obviously drunk, or when shuttle astronauts would sneak Jack Daniels into the payload bay," said a NASA spokesperson Bruce Goldberg. "It is surprising that Mrs. Nowak wasn't found to be absolutely batshit crazy after all the psychological and mental screenings the participants in the United States space program have to endure, but it's nothing like when [former Mercury astronaut] Deke Slayton, after a day in the isolation chamber, went mad and slaughtered that family out in the Kansas sticks."
"See, there was a reason why he became Flight Director, and never actually got into space," added Goldberg.
NASA admits that the twisted love triangle involving two of its astronauts is a blemish on its record, but still beats the hell out of Buzz Aldrin's last words on the moon: "Gee, Neil, you give a whole new meaning to the phrase 'moon rock'."