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Estonia Reveals Secret Space Program, Pentagon Assessing Threat
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WEEROPH, ESTONIA - In a startling move from one of Europe's poorer nations, Estonia announced that it has a secret space-program and that it is about to make its first launch of its Yergon-II launch system.

"We couldn't afford anything to actually send up, so it's just going up empty. But this way if it fails, we aren't going to destroy anything expensive," reasoned Yves Kuppern, the flight director and chief engineer of the project. When asked why other nations were not contacted about the launch, perhaps to provide pay-per-launch payload to help fund the project, Kuppern responded, "We aren't exactly going to be reaching the heights that most sattelites are trying to reach. We're, uh, well, actually with the D12-5 engines we're hoping to get to over thirty thousand centimeters."

30,000 centimeters is about 1,000 feet, or just shy of one-tenth of a percent of that needed to reach geosynchronous orbit.

"We were going to design our own rocket," Kuppern said, "but buying a stock model from Estes just made more fiscal sense." Including the costs of construction, Estonia's introduction into the space age has cost $73. "The biggest cost is the engines, really. We're looking into reloading technology. I bought a copy of 'October Sky' and we've been watching that."

The European Space Agency did not return our calls for comment. A representative at NASA said, "We welcome our colleagues entry into, um, space."

The Pentagon is currently revising its "Threat Assessment" for Estonia, taking this new technology into account. "We don't want to ignore it and then watch a modern-day Sputnik fly over us again," an unnamed source said.

The Yergon-II is a slightly modified version of the "Mean Machine" rocket kit, from Estes Industries. The modifications include painting the fins White instead of Black and introducing a small Estonia flag on the body tube.
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