A $38m, 50-year study by NASA and the Pentagon has concluded that the space programmes of monkeys and dogs appear to have stalled since achieving orbit in the 1940s and 50s.
‘When they beat us into space, I think we all assumed it was a matter of time before you had poodles and marmosets building kennels and tree houses on the moon,‘ said NASA chief Charles Boden. ‘But it seems neither species had the ambition or the organisational capability for the long haul. Years of careful monitoring have shown that canines turned their attention to cornering the home pet market, while monkeys have settled for drawing steady crowds at the zoo after dabbling in TV advertising.’
Although NASA is now confident neither dogs or monkeys have serious ambitions as astronauts, they admitted it wasn’t always clear cut. ‘Through close observation, we noticed that dogs spend a lot of time in kennels, many of which are shaped like rockets, but so far we have no evidence that they are any closer to being able to launch these structures or attain the velocity needed to escape the planet’s gravitational pull. And monkeys often seemed to be getting closer to leaving the earth’s atmosphere, but after a while they tended to come down from the tree-tops to grab themselves a banana or just throw shit at a mate.’
Despite dismissing the threat to the US space programme from dogs and monkeys, NASA recognises that others may still be seeking to steal a march on them. ‘Only yesterday we were alerted to a new threat from our friends the Russians and Chinese, and I give all Americans my word that we will not rest until we find out what it is cats get up to during the day.’