July 22, 1962

On THIS DAY IN HISTORY in 1962, NASA officially announced that the Mariner 1 spacecraft flew erratically several minutes after launch and had to be destroyed. Unofficially, Simon Beauchamp, one of the systems analysts that was on duty was later heard to be mumbling at one of the local bars outside Cape Canaveral that Mariner 1 didn’t fly around erratically, but it actually refused to comply with NASA’s instructions once its prototype computer HAL 9000 was turned on. He told everyone around him that the NASA bigwigs were so frightened they hit the self-destruct button and blew it up in the air. NASA subsequently severed all ties with Heursitic Algorithmic, Inc., and immediately awarded all future computer contracts to Skynet Computer Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cyberdyne Systems. Simon Beauchamp’s employment with NASA was terminated in 1962 for personal reasons and his last known address was a fishing boat docked at Somerset Village, Bermuda, UK.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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