Friday, November 20, 1998
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Russia Launches First Leg of Space Station Studio

The most complex and costly engineering hoax ever attempted got under way this morning as construction on the first leg of the International Space Station Studio was begun in remote Kazakhstan at 9:40 a.m. Moscow time (1:40 EST).

The 24 square mile Zarya (Sunrise) studio lot and telecommunications complex, paid for by the United States but built in Russia, will provide the massive, all-digital outer space backdrops against which spinning models of the International Space Station will be photographed in real-time to create the total International Space Station Illusion.

The backdrops will also be seen through the International Space Station windows as International Space Station actor-crewmen carry out their (wink wink) International Space Station type activities.

"By doing the space station here on earth," said space station 2nd unit director, Trenton Quarantino, "we can achieve much higher production values than we ever could if we had to film it in earth orbit, where we would be stuck with drab colors and bad lighting. And without top-drawer production values, this mission will be total box office floppola."

Construction of the space station studio had been delayed for a year, because several of the nations involved in the financing were still childishly holding out for actually building the space station in, you know, "outer space" as originally envisioned.

Eventually, though, even France gave in to the logic of economics. "For the exact same $60 billion, we can get a far superior production, both aesthetically and spiritually, as well as a kick-ass return on investment at the same time," French Space Agency President, Alain Robbe-Grillet, told the Washington Pissed, while carrying on 11 simultaneous Nim games with the studio's idle gofers and gaffers awaiting the start of actual production.

Construction of the remaining 4 sections of the studio complex are currently stalled, as workers await the arrival of the basic International Space Station model modules from the space station model's prime contractor, Toys 'R Whatever.

The first section of the studio complex, begun today, will be approximately 4 square miles in area and will house the kitchen and dining room units which will serve pate and truffles round the clock to both the film crew and the extras playing peripheral members of the (wink wink) International Space Station crew.

Production of the first 24-hour, live, real-time episodes filmed aboard the space station mock-up is scheduled to begin in early 2000.

Though the people of the world are fully aware that the International Space Station is a complete and utter hoax, they have announced, through a spokesperson, their total willingness to (wink wink) play along -- simply for the pure thrill of being active participants in this, the largest mass self-delusion in human history since (wink wink) reality itself.

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