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Astronaut Survives Leap From Space Station
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Main Yak, NY - Authorities with NASA are beginning an investigation into how an astronaut managed to clamber out of the International Space Station and plunge the 255 miles to the earth. The astronaut, Jan Kirk, survived the stunt.

"There are several questions we need answered," said Tom Merriman, Director of Safety for the ISS, "How did he get out of the station? You can't put on the suit yourself, so somebody had to help, and there was no EVA [extra-vehicular activity] planned. Once out, how did he get himself to deorbit? How did he not burn up on re-entry? And how in the name of everything I've ever been taught did he survive the impact?"

"The impact question is simple -- he didn't 'impact'," stated Lars Toombey, senior fellow of the Academy of Sciences, Main Yak. "When a body tumbles through the atmosphere as Mr. Kirk clearly did, a number of things happen. Static charges accumulate, air pressure changes, there are eddies and whirls surrounding the body. These are formidable forces." Toombey showed a computer simulation showing how a person in a spacesuit would actually begin to glide at about 10,000 feet. This gliding, says Toombey, provided the means for Kirk to drift off of the equator and end up landing very near Niagara Falls. "Of course, his final splash down in the river no doubt contributed to his survival."

One passenger on the Maid of the Mist said she saw something coming out of the sky and thought it might be a missile. "It was coming in real fast, there was a bluish fire around it, and I just thought, 'That's it, they're bombing the Falls.'"

Suicide is being investigated as a possible motive, but friends of Kirk say he'd been considering it for years. "Ever since he read about the ISS, he's wanted to jump off of it," said Bob "Bug" Weedleman, "He's always been a little crazy about jumping off of stuff."
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