Sometimes it so happens that you are out there doing your usual stuff, trying to make this world a better place for fellow humans, trying to do discoveries and inventions; but what happens? You end up scaring a few people and amusing many others. Point is, that’s exactly what happened with the world’s premier space agency, NASA!
It so happened that one fine day, a group of solar panel employees were on their usual duties at a field of solar panel affiliated to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. It’s situated off of New Road in South Brunswick and the time was about noon.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, they spotted a mysterious looking package attached to a bright red parachute. It looked scary enough for them to think that it was some kind of a Bomb! But they gathered enough courage to approach it and spotted a handwritten message attached to the outside of the box. Guess what was written there:
“NASA Atmospheric Research Instrument NOT A BOMB! If found, please call [redacted]. If this lands near the President, we at NASA wish him a great round of golf.”
Don’t start to think they heaved a sigh of relief or had a good laugh. Because the white Styrofoam box was making noises and the message didn’t reassure them, so they called the police. One of them recorded “We just had a package. I’m not making this up. Parachute onto my site. It’s making a weird noise.”
Prompt came the police, with a bomb squad! As they set up a perimeter and evacuated the site. Even the Secret Service investigated the package. But alas, it was inferred that the box really belonged to NASA as it was filled with wires. NASA had to release a statement to the News 4 New York – “The box contained a weather balloon instrument that measures ozone.”
The parachute was a part of a “Long Island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study,” launched from a Rutgers University-owned site. NASA also had to reveal that a summer student employee, who wasn’t affiliated with Rutgers, added some extra text in a misguided attempt to be light-hearted!
Although the whole incident ended up being fun for everyone else, it wasn’t for the poor student employee. NASA removed the student from the project! Well, the story doesn’t end here either. Besides this one, NASA had launched five other parachutes. Yes, five more! Another one was found in Readington Township, near President Donald Trump’s Bedminster golf club.
But, four more still remain out there. Hence, the story doesn’t end here either. It now remains to be seen what the other four parachutes do to people, what new stories we will hear.