CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – After the Space Shuttle Atlantis blasted off for the last time, President Obama sold NASA – and all its parts – to Russia.
Space shuttle Atlantis displayed its power and majesty one final time, rocketing into space from Kennedy Space Center at 11:26 a.m. ET Friday morning despite threatening weather — marking the final launch after 30 years for NASA’s storied fleet of shuttles.
When the Atlantis returns to the United States 10,000 NASA employees will be fired by the U.S. government and hired by the Russian government. “We are not closing NASA,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, “we are transferring the employees to Moscow.”
President Obama said that he wants to work on new space mission that will begin sometime in 2014 or 2024 or “whenever.” He wants to go to Mars some day. Meanwhile, the Russians will be taking over the worldwide space missions. “We need the Russians to build ships and work with NASA so that some of our American astronauts can go to Russia and then fly to our International Space Station. If the Russians don’t take over NASA, who will?” said Carney.
“The sense of history, the legacy of what has happened here over three decades, is palpable,” a Mission Control spokesman said before the launch, noting that “30 years and three months ago, it was Columbia on the launch pad awaiting lift off.”
“America will continue the dream,” the launch director said as Atlantis lifted-off on its 33rd and last flight. “But Russia will be busy actually executing the dream.”
The crew — Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus and Mission Specialist Rex Walheim — had arrived at the launch pad’s White Room at 8:06 a.m. ET for the boarding process, undeterred by reports that there was only a 30 percent chance of favorable weather for blast off.
“For the final time, good luck, godspeed, and have a little fun up there,” launch director Mike Leinbach told the shuttle crew before lift off.
In a video message released after the launch, NASA chief Charles Bolden saluted the final flight of Atlantis — and offered hope for the future of U.S. spaceflight.
“Over three decades, the shuttle has brought this nation many firsts, and many, many proud moments,” Bolden said. “The shuttle pioneers have made the next chapter of human spaceflight possible.”
“American ingenuity is alive and well, and it will fire up the Russian economy — and help us win the future,” he added.
Obama told reporters that he didn’t watch the final Space Shuttle launch, “I wanted to catch it, but I had an early tee time.”
When asked about whether we can trust the Russians to take care of the employees of NASA, Obama said, “Putin promised me that he would take good care of our NASA employees and I trust him. I have no reason not to trust him.”
And so ends, the United States space mission… from Kennedy to Obama.
Russia now owns NASA. What’s next?!