New Horizons – Ultima Thule
by Gavin Biddlecombe
The President strode into the conference room, speaking before reaching the podium. The gathered reporters hushed. “I appreciate you all for coming in from your New Year celebrations to mark this historic occasion,” he said.
“You’re leaving?” asked one of the reporters.
The President checked his agenda. “No, I don’t think so.”
“Right. Excuse my interruption.”
The President looked around at the expectant faces before proceeding. “We’ve received news from NASA that New Horizons has sent back the first detailed images of Ultima Thule from the Kuiper Belt, the furthest object ever explored in our solar system. Whilst promising, this also comes with worrying news for future space exploration and any attempts to land on this object.”
“Mr. President,” said another reporter, standing up. “Surely NASA can manage this considering the ESA landed the Rosetta spacecraft on comet 67P.”
“Well, yes and no.”
Around the room, an unsettled murmur began.
“Please,” he urged, “let me continue. Whilst landing may be possible, it appears from our images that their immigration policy is even more stringent than ours.”
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