In a press conference earlier today, top European Space Agency (ESA) officials defended the harpooning of a comet by a ESA craft, claiming that the attack was for "Scientific Research". Rosetta spacecraft is scheduled to fire a harpoon into Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko sometime this November, but as the probe pulled alongside the comet earlier today, the contraversity began to bubble. The ESA officials claim that firing a projectile into the comet to extract a sample is being done for "Science", but critics point out that the agency also stands to make a tidy no profit whatsoever on the mission.
A few dozen protesters gathered outside the NASA research center in Langley, Virginia to protest the attack on the comet. One protester told News from Rockettopia, "Comets are ancient entities that have existed since the solar system began, and every year a few of them are lost forever. NASA should not be aiding in the extinction of Comets in the name of 'research'! They just want to extract the rare chemicals that the Comet contains like H2O and sell them back on Earth. Save the comets! Save the comets!" This went on for some time until a frustrated NASA spokesperson walked out to make a quick press release. "We wish to clarify that the Rosetta mission is strictly for scientific purposes, that it will not harm the comet populations, and that WE HERE AT NASA HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT! IT'S THE ESA, YOU MORONS!" He seemed very angry, muttering, "Seriously, where do these idiots come from?" as he stormed off. The demonstrators tell us that they have no intent of leaving until all of space is made safe for comets now and forever.
Although the crowds protesting the harpooning of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are relatively small, many on the internet have questioned whether the various "Studies" that the Rosetta mission will perform on the dirty snowball are in any way unethical. These concerns were sparked by a statement from astronomer Karl Battams, who said in an interview, "Pretty much everything you could hope to do on a comet, Rosetta is going to be doing it." Although scientists have refused to elaborate on what the Rosetta lander will be doing to the comet except on their website, on the internet, where anyone can access it, many believe that the mission may violate international norms regarding cruelty to comets. "We haven't figured out yet how to communicate with comets," said one person on the internet who, for some reason, we think is worth mentioning. "Until we do, we don't know if this unnatural 'Rosetta Lander' is violating the comet's desires.
Despite the bad press, the ESA has refused to alter its plans to fire the harpoon into the comet sometime in November, causing absolutely no damage to this majestic inanimate object just to revolutionize our view of the solar system.