PASADENA, CA — NASA has apologized for the deaths of 22 people caused by a rocket that exploded upon impact into the lunar surface earlier this morning.
In a remarkable technological feat, scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory blasted a missile from its LCROSS spacecraft deep into a lunar crater to try to dig up evidence of water that may be hidden beneath the surface of the moon.
But something went terribly awry when 22 civilians were killed by the explosion. Officials from NASA said that while they do their best to publicize details of every mission, collateral damage is often unavoidable.
“The day before impact we dropped leaflets,” explained Jethro Finanella, a JPL program specialist, “but it takes them a long time to reach the ground with so little gravity.”
Congress was quick to react to the incident. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) introduced legislation to suspend “the wasteful funding of space exploration” and instead use the money to “kill innocent civilians right here on Earth.”
NASA remains confident that it still has the support of the American people, despite the mishap.
“I think we’d have to kill a lot more people before they turn on us,” said Finanella. “We do our best to avoid this kind of thing, but when you have a trillion ton rocket barreling down onto the surface of a planet, it’s impossible to prepare for every contingency.”
Finanella said his team simply did not expect people to be anywhere near the site of impact. “What those folks were doing on the moon, in precisely that area, we’ll never know,” he admitted. “Our hearts go out to their families.”
NASA downplayed the significance of finding people on the moon, believing the 22 who were killed by the blast were the only ones there.
“Of course we regret the loss of innocent lives,” said Finanella, “but the search for water in the far reaches of the universe goes on.”