Shackleton Dead In Space Tragedy
06 May 2011
The world of Mars Exploration was rocked today when it was announced that gentleman publisher and international adventurer Elvis Shackleton had died while attempting to land the prototype Long Midnight Mars Lander on the Moon. Having taken off on a solo flight from a small island off the coast of Singapore on Monday afternoon, Shackleton came to grief when attempting to land the craft on the dark side of the moon early on Friday morning. Details remain sketchy on why Shackleton had undertaken a solo flight on board the two man vessel, but rumours are sweeping the internet and the already troubled publishing/space exploration empire of LMP seems on the verge of outright collapse.
'This is a tragic loss for Mars and indeed, the Earth,' said a man calling himself only The Doctor earlier today. Speaking from inside a blue wooden box the man added, 'Elvis Shackleton was a dear friend of mine, and my hearts go out to his family at this tragic time.'
Little is known of what went on at the offices of LMP on Monday afternoon, however sources close to the dead adventurer claim that he was upset with the direction in which the company was heading, and having announced his resignation was determined to leave the company with a bang. It would seem that, although it had already been in the pipeline for over four weeks, the LMP Mars Mission Rocket was not yet ready to be used in anger.
'It was still a bit shit,' said one insider. 'We tried saying to him to that it wasn't ready to be taken into space. This isn't an episode of Wallace & Gromit. This is real life. You don't just climb into a space ship and start the engine. But that's what he did.'
Although the take-off and flight through the Earth's atmosphere went as well as could be expected, Shackleton appeared to get into the trouble when it came to landing the craft on the lunar surface. 'Quite simply,' said a source, 'it's a two-man job. You need one man to press the buttons and another to hold the knobs, it's as straightforward as that. Elvis should have known that. It's a tragic waste.'
Elvis Shackleton first came to public attention in the late 1990's playing drums in a Bob Dylan tribute band. There then followed the most extraordinary few years when, amongst other achievements, he climbed Everest, sailed single-handed across the Pacific in a Porsche, invaded Iraq, served as Tony Blair's conscience, invented a popular new type of biscuit, won the FI World Championship three years in a row and played inside linebacker for the New England Patriots when they won Superbowl XXXIX. In recent years he had brought Long Midnight Publishing to prominence as the third biggest publishing empire on Earth, and was about to start a new career as a derring-do space explorer. Sadly, it is this last feat which has been his undoing.
As the world mourned his tragic death at the age of just 26, the President of the United States led the tributes: 'He was a man,' said the President at a hastily organised press conference earlier today in Washington DC.