Tim Barto: It’s a gender imperative — NASA must intercept, destroy the binary plaque on Pioneer 10



In 1972, NASA launched the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, and a year later, it launched Pioneer 11. These were the first manmade objects sent to explore the outer planets and continue traveling beyond our solar system.

The data they collected multiplied exponentially the scientific knowledge of our planetary neighborhood, and their remarkable journeys outside our planetary system boggled curious minds.

The continued existence of these interstellar travelers, however, is causing concern at the highest levels of government, and a new type of space race is emerging – a race to catch up with the two Pioneer spacecraft and destroy them.

The issue at hand is that on board each spacecraft are gold-plated plaques, nine inches by six inches in size, installed on the infinitesimal chance that some alien beings come in contact with them. These plaques contain information about where the spacecraft originated from. That fact causes concern among scientists, such as the late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who worry humans have put a veritable welcome mat out to advanced civilizations who may want to visit Earth armed with nefarious plans and deadly lasers. 

But the real concern is that the plaques also contain drawings of a naked man and woman. 

The plaque attached to Pioneer 10.

Tossing aside the alarming issue of exposing bug-eyed grays to soft porn, the Biden Administration, led by transgender Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, is concerned about the transphobic, binary-centric conclusions some wayward space reptilian might draw from seeing one man and one woman as representative of life on Earth.

An alien, and Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine.

“They’ll think we’re Neanderthals if they find that thing,” said a very senior administration official who declined to be identified just in case she has to take over if the Big Guy forgets how to swallow and drowns in vanilla ice cream. “Which is not to say that Neanderthals were not enlightened in the ways of gender fluidity. Let me tell you something – those Neanderthals were just like regular people. They just had retarded brain function. Well, not retarded; we don’t like to say retarded because that’s a harmful word in some people’s realities, but they were kinda’ slow, you know, in a learning-challenged type of way. Neanderthals wouldn’t have taken the long, yellow school bus if they were around today. They’d ride in the short, yellow school bus. Which is still a nice bus, especially if it’s electric-powered . . . which all buses should be.”

NASA officials being tasked with this hunt-and-destroy mission are just a smidgen concerned about the logistics of it all, as the last communication with Pioneer 10 was in 2003, while Pioneer 11’s last blip was tracked in 1995; and they’ve been hurtling through space at about 27,000 miles per hour since then. One NASA accountant put the odds at coming within a light year of just one of the spacecrafts at one in 643 quadrillion. That’s not even factoring finding both of them and shooting them. 

Asked what type of weapon system we would use if we were able to locate and catch up with one of the Pioneers, a Space Force General advised that shooting weapons in space is against international law. “I’m thinkin’ we’d have to latch on to it and fling it into the nearest star or black hole or something. That ought to do it.”

Upon request, a spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget threw together some rough numbers, calculating the cost of such a venture would be in the neighborhood of three trillion dollars — per day, for six or seven thousand years. “Think of the embarrassment it would save us throughout the galaxy, though,” the accountant concluded. 

Asked if Elon Musk’s SpaceX was willing to build a few extra of those really big rockets, another anonymous administration official said, “We don’t mention that name around here any longer. His whole free speech commitment is not really aligned with our truth.”

The consensus among everyone interviewed, though, was that this is a vital mission, to go where no LGBTQ+ person has gone before so that no LGBTQ+ alien would be triggered by seeing a picture of one man and one woman and thinking that was normal for life on Earth.

Tim Barto is the new Interstellar Space Reporter for Must Read Alaska. 


    • In 1972? Come on they were still burning bras then.
      They actually may have more luck with Voyager 1&2. While launched in 1977 both craft still communicate with the ground team from interstellar space, some of whom are the same engineers working on the project when it launched. That’s commitment!

  1. How is nobody here focusing on the REAL problem with that space probe plaque: the fact that it ONLY shows Eurocentric patriarchal colonialist Caucasians?! I mean, everyone knows, just from watching TV and movies, that blacks make up 60-80% of the population, with most of the rest consisting of Orientals.

  2. Mr Levine…
    What if said Reptilian is transphobic?
    Why not throw in an R for reptilian in the whole lgbtq+…
    Dude . Reptilians are new, comers…

  3. Not to mention racist. The man and woman appear to have euro-centric features. Yes, this thing must be destroyed.

  4. You couldn’t make this crap up if you had to 30 years ago. If a person put forth the idea that the concern of the nation was devolved to this point, they would have been laughed out of the building.

  5. That caption should read “An alien, and an artistic rendering of a creature from outer space.”

  6. “All Alaskans, including our LGBTQ+ neighbors and community members, deserve to feel safe and accepted in the places they call home. As long as I am in office, I will continue doing everything I can to make sure they do.”
    – Mary Peltola

  7. I recall that a recording of JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos was also included as representative of Earth and Human Life. In this era of cultural relativism its probably best if we recall Bach and instead send Taylor Swift and Snoop Dawg out into the cosmos

  8. Imagine the disc aboard the space capsule is a postcard. What a disappointment to those aliens. I fear that we will be seeing trouble.

  9. Cant we launch another inter galactic craft with Rachel onboard to explain all the lovely details of Earth’s inhabitants?
    I would definitely support that and pitch in if funding is an issue.

  10. “Tim Barto is the new Interstellar Space Reporter for Must Read Alaska.” Damn! I would have applied if I had known the position was available!

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