Canadian billionaire and self-styled ‘first clown in space’ Guy Laliberte, has reportedly made a number of ‘dangerous adjustments’ to the orbiting Soyuz space-shuttle in order to increase the effectiveness of his clowning while on board the vessel.
Laliberte, 50, founder of the extravagant Cirque de Soleil circus group is the seventh individual to pay for the experience of going up in space, but the first to insist on entertaining the other astronauts.
Although Laliberte told the BBC ahead of his journey: “I’m an artistic person and a creator. I’m not a scientific. I’m not an engineer,” NASA engineers’ array of sensors picked up the unmistakable sound of the the Soyuz craft making a loud raspberry noise before the front nose of the shuttle fell off in an exaggerated, comic fashion.
“We don’t know how he did it – despite his claims, he must have extensive engineering capabilities.” said Hank Devlin, senior technician at NASA. “It’s not even possible to get steam in space, while we also noticed a giant plastic flower on front of the craft – presumably to squirt any aliens the shuttles encounters.” Devlin emitted a weary sigh before continuing, “The thing is, he’s wasted millions and millions of dollars of technology in the name of a cheap laugh, and God alone knows how we’re going to get them all back to Earth. The shuttle is now practically unworkable, and they are running out of oxygen pretty fast.”
Nonetheless, Laliberte maintains that he is keeping everybody’s spirits high by going through his clowning routine. However, speaking in a five minute communication to NASA control yester he did confirm that is wasn’t completely smooth running:
“The trouble is,” Laliberte relayed, over a haze of static, “that there isn’t a lot of room up here to move, so me and my big clown feet just tend to get in everyone’s way. My custard pies in the face also lack the immediacy that they usualy do in normal gravity, so it does take some adapting, while even basic things like juggling are impossible. Clowning in space certainly is a challenge.”
The space shuttle is expected to return to Earth in a fiery ball at some time in the next few days before hitting the ground with a giant SPLAT! sound.