Rescue Mission

Tim Peake sets off to rescue Dilwyn off Europa


Yay! Go Tim Peake.  The long awaited / forgotten-about rescue mission finally blasts off from the Baikonur Cymrudrone this afternoon.  Fellow Brit Tim Peake will spend a couple of days at the International Space Station loafing around with some other people.  Then he’ll slip away into one of the escape pods, like what Dave did in 2001 the Space Oddyssey film.  He’ll then head out into the frozen darkness near Jupiter and fetch home – to a hero’s welcome – our long lost / forgotten-about hero, Megan the dog and the bloke who feeds her, Dilwyn Griffiths.

Time to pay for the renewal on our web hosting I think.

Subo arrives

We at WASA HQ are great believers in the notion of “ignore it, and it’ll go away”.  It’s always worked briefly in the past.    But those Europan aliens are very insistent – they’ve been back on Mamgu’s telly every night lately, and always during Pobl y Cwm.   They seem to be getting nasty.  Just because our Dilwyn ate their pop star or whoever it was – it was only a flipping alien for goodness sake.  Mamgu’s had to go to Mrs Meredith’s  next door to shout at the telly now.

We can’t help feel we might get into awful trouble though, if an alien invasion turns out to be our fault.  So we’ve phoned Susan Boyle to see if she fancies a trip to Jupiter as our earthly ambassador, where she might get to meet some alien record producers.  We neglected to mention she was going to be their tea.  Anyway, she hung up after the fifth time we rang and said she was going to call the police.   We couldn’t find Cheryl Cole’s phone number and when we rung Roger Whittaker, he said that he might be interested but that he wasn’t the singing Roger Whittaker, but a machine-shop foreman from Rotherham and that the aliens might not find him such a delicacy.

berwynWe were just about to phone the Prime Minister,  David Cameraman, to warn him of earth’s imminent danger when look who turns up?  Dilwyn’s waste-of-space brother, Berwyn.  Only ever seen when his week has run out of giro or his packet out of fags.  Berwyn is stuck in June 1973 and only ever sees life through a fug of dodgy smoke and has very little idea, ever, about what is going on.  We might just have found our Subo!

So now, how to get him to the Europans’ dining table? With Uncle Rhodri’s shotgun licence now revoked we can’t use the 12-bore cartridge propulsion drive like we did for  Cymru III.  His order for 25,000 size 12 cartridges seem to have set alarms bells ringing down at Ruthin nick.

Our boffins  have been experimenting with a microwave propulsion system involving popcorn and boiled eggs, but are beginning to favour our new drum ‘n bass funk engine for this urgent mission.  Can’t say too much about it  at this stage except that it comprises a LOT of second-hand sound systems out of boy-racers’ cars.

Launch date set for the next full moon – if you can see it, you can’t hit it, that’s our motto.  We can’t call the new craft Cymru IV because we’ve already used that.  Anyway, we’ll lure Berwyn into said, as yet, unmade vehicle, with the promise of making him a giro millionaire and more of his “arthritis medicine” than he can ever smoke.  Then we’ll hit the launch button before he realises it’s photocopied dole and a heap of horse exhaust.  Cymru 6 is on the way.

At the very least, this mission will clean up the gene-pool here on earth.

Alien Contact

An Alien appearing on Mamgu's telly
We’d just settled down in Mamgu’s front room to watch Pobl y Cwm when a load of interference came on the telly.  Morris had just got up to give it a whack when this horrible face appeared through all the crackles and started making a noise like an octopus or something.  He looked proper upset and started banging on the inside of the screen and was clearly shouting at us. His face would have been red if Mamgu had a colour telly.  Unfortunately, none of us understands alien underwater speak so at first we were confused.  After a while though, we got the gist of what he was trying to say.  Apparently, his name is Tharg and he’s the foreign minister for the undersea ice aliens of Europa.  And it seems, our Dilwyn has eaten their equivalent of singer Susan Boyle and they’re all very upset about it.
Anyway, unless we send them our Susan Boyle to make up for their loss, pronto, or 3 Cheryl Coles and a Roger Whittaker, then they’re going to invade earth.

By this point all this shouting and waving was meithering Mamgu, so we switched over to watch the end of Emmerdale instead – we can always watch the Pobl y Cwm repeat on Sunday.

Alien lifeforrm discovered on Europa

Dilwyn baiting his hook ready for some fishing on Europa
Dilwyn baiting his hook ready for some fishing on Europa

For millennia mankind has wondered at the possibility of life existing elsewhere in our universe. The visions of H.G. Wells may have fallen short in so much as Mars isn’t actually overrun by little green men or indeed, so far, even by microbial life-forms and is likely a barren desert. But, January 2011, and The Welsh Space Agency can now confirm, via our Cymru III mission to Callisto (then Europa) that life does indeed exist on a world other than our own.

And this must rank as the most astounding scientific discovery ever – certainly since the discovery that eating past-their-sell-by curried eggs causes tectonic flatulence.

This astonishing sequence of photographs on the right shows the moments of revelation. Mission Deputy Commander Dilwyn Griffiths has bored a test hole through the icy crust of Europa into the liquid ocean below and into which he is about to lower a probe to test for salinity, temperature and relative density. To avoid contaminating this pristine alien ocean, all the equipment has been wiped down with a hanky prior to use.

The first photo shows Dilwyn adjusting the test cable prior to lowering into the bore hole.

Dilwyn gets a bite
Dilwyn gets a bite

The second photo shows the deflection in the line tensioning rod which clearly indicates something in the deep has interacted with the equipment at the end of the line.

Picture 3 shows Dilwyn after he has hauled up this life-form which is completely new to science. It appears to have been attracted to the cheese which Dilwyn attached to the test probe.

Dilwyn catches his first alien lifeform
Dilwyn catches his first alien lifeform

The creature survived removal from its habitat, responded to light when brought to the surface and seemed relatively unfazed by the transition from liquid to gaseous environment. Dilwyn held it carefully to avoid hurting it while he examined it further, and amazingly the animal made eye-contact with our man.

It’s tentacles are clearly highly tactile like those of an octopus and it seemed to exhibit signs of intelligence as it probed Dilwyn’s spacesuit. Shortly, it attempted communication. Gesticulating up at the starry sky and then down to the hole from whence it came. It then tapped out a series of numbers on Dilwyn’s arm which turned out to be all prime numbers. It was clearly trying to tell us something about it and the world in which it lived.

At gas mark 5 for 11/2 hours and with a gravy made up from its giblets, it made for a very passable, if slightly gamey, chicken casserole.

Jupiter in close up

A close up view of Jupiter from its moon EuropaSince Welsh spacecraft Cymru III crash-landed on Jupiter’s frigid moon Europa, cymrunaut Dilwyn Griffiths and his (quite nasty) dog Megan have been on the ultimate fight for survival.

Luckily, the intelligent alien lifeforms they encountered there are fairly easy to catch and despite their spacey metallic taste are providing our intrepid pair with sufficient nutrition to stave off the worst of their predicament.

As if to prove that the entire mission wasn’t a complete fiasco, Dilwyn retrieved the WASA space telescope from the wreckage. And being at this ideal vantage point for observing the mysterious parent planet he realised this was an opportunity too good for science to miss.

This photo taken shortly after periapsis shows in breathtaking close-up the intense weather systems that form swirling coloured bands high in the atmosphere of this gas giant planet. Just rotated into view slightly beneath the equatorial belt you can see the fabled Great Red Spot which shows at about 22° S latitude.

Meanwhile, the WASA mission inspectorate has given the go-ahead for a rescue mission. Presently, our engineers are welding up all but one of the windows of an old Crosville Wales bus. Once the gas-tight seals have been fitted, the drum ‘n bass funk-engines fitted and somebody manages to find the pilot Berwyn Griffiths (Dil’s brother) then we’ll be off.

He’s Back ! Dilwyn returns to base

Dilwyn returns from walkabout on Europa - a little unsteady on his feet."
Dilwyn returns from walkabout on Europa – a little unsteady on his feet.”

Almost unbelievable.  But this is the longest duration ever that an astronaut has wandered off on a reconnaissance expedition on an alien world only to be completely forgotten about by his ground crew.  Last March we watched as Dilwyn disappeared over the horizon on Jupiter’s moon, Europa.  We did try to locate him, at first, but then things just seemed to get in the way…  Uncle Rhodri had a really good win on the horses, Mamgu got her new shopmobility scooter thing, Myfanwy* went on heat and we all had a really good laugh at the World Cup.

He seemed a little unsteady on his feet when he got back.  But that’s hardly surprising when you consider his arduous trek.  Otherwise though, he does appear to be none the worse for his circumnavigation effort.  In fact, it looks like he might have put on a couple of pounds.

And that bottle of Monty’s Sunshine certainly wasn’t in the ship’s manifesto for Cymru III so his foraging trip couldn’t have been without success.  We’re not entirely sure what he took with him in his carrier bag when he left, but we doubt it could have been enough to sustain him for this length of time.

Anyway, he seemed to need a bit of a lie down when he got back.  We’ll debrief him proper when he gets up.

*Myfanwy is Dilwyn’s ex


Dilwyn and Megan through the space telescope heading in wrong direction
Dilwyn and Megan through the space telescope heading in wrong direction

When last we looked, Dilwyn & Megan had set off into the vast frozen landscape of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, in the search of food and drink – more specifically, beer and pork-scratchings.
But becoming concerned now for the whereabouts of our space crew, we dusted down the WASA refractor telescope which we keep by the skips at the back of “Cig y Llan” butcher’s shop to have a look for them.  And after much scouring of the planet’s surface, at maximum zoomification, we finally spotted them.  Dilwyn with a bag full of something and Megan traipsing alongside.  Unfortunately, both clearly heading in the wrong direction.
We have no means of communication with them and so are thinking about launching a rescue mission.  Megan is a very capable Second in Command of a Welsh spaceship, and could easily have been promoted ahead of her human counterpart. And 2IC of an interplanetary spaceship for a mongrel sheepdog is not bad going, when you consider that Lassie only ever got to be in charge of a submarine (“Lassie nukes the Russkies” MGM films, 1965 and also  “For Christ’s sake Lassie, stop bloody barking”, 1968 and “Why didn’t you go when you were outside, Lassie?” 1969).

But really, we want Megan back here on earth.  Her instinct for herding sheep is still pretty much intact and we can get £75 a pup were we to breed from her.  She just needs to lose her taste for sheep throats and we’ll be quids in.

Catch up

And now, the main points of the news again…

After a ridiculous amount of time traversing the solar system, Dilwyn Griffiths and Megan landed on Callisto in Cymru III craft.

They hung around a while.  And, frankly, made a mess.

Dilwyn accidentally pulled on the take-off cord and blasted them on their way to another moon near Jupiter – Europa.

They discover new moons along the way.

They crash on Europa.

They meet an important member of an alien civilisation.

They casserole him.

The aliens get nowty* and demand we send them Susan Boyle and others to make amends otherwise they’ll invade earth.

Uncle Rhodri wins £46 on the horses.


 nowty: [adj] moody, sullen and badtempered, prone to moodswings.

      he’s a right nowty git that Alex Ferguson


Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

We’re quite sure it’s just an oversight, but Dilwyn appears to have forgotten to come back from his expeditionette to find a Costcutters (with offy).  Maybe he’s lost his way, or maybe he met up with some alien life form and is busy being an ambassador for Welshmankind.

Our only point of contact is with our WASA Europacam which miraculously survived the landing, is positioned at the edge of the landing crater but is presently showing a blank screen.

More news as we have it.  Until then, here is some music.

Europan hunter-gatherers


Dilwyn and Meg head off in search of a Costcutter.
Dilwyn and Meg head off in search of a Costcutter.

Since Cymru III gently smashed into the surface of Europa the other day, the crew have wasted little time getting to grips with setting up the first Welsh base on another planet.  Megan ran round and round in circles, barking endlessly at falling flakes of frozen methane, and Dilwyn rocked back and forth with his head in his hands.

But once he realised that all the beer, buckfast and even the furniture polish was destroyed along with the rest of the ship, including the island organic chocolate limes (from Mull) he knew it was time to take decisive action.

Without further ado, he rescued the re-useable onboard co-op carrier bag and set off in search of a Costcutter with an off-licence somewhere amidst the vast frigid landscape of this alien moon.

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