New Brunswick — With a number of billionaires launching themselves outside of Earth’s atmosphere this month, New Brunswick is hoping to add their favourite son, Arthur Irving, to this impressive lineage.
“There was some initial concern over his age, of course,” said Carl Palmer, an Irving media representative. “At 91, he’s hardly an ideal candidate for such a physically demanding undertaking. Still, we’ve kept him on a strict regimen of virgin bloo—er, vitamins.”
While Irving’s net worth does extend into the billions, there is some question as to whether even he can afford such a costly venture.
“It actually won’t be as much as you might think,” said the representative. “Believe it or not, the most expensive aspect of a rocket launch is the incredible amount of fuel that it burns. The Irvings are better positioned than most to acquire cheap gas. Let me assure you—the price you pay at the pumps? It’s worth considerably less than that.”
“Also,” he added, “we mustn’t discredit the impact the province’s generous tax incentive.”
As part of the deal, the company agreed to hire only local contractors to build the rocket. Seeing as there is a dearth of qualified scientists and engineers in New Brunswick, the province has instead opted to provide a slight increase in arts funding to supplement the cost of construction.
Earlier this month, 24-year-old Abigail Noble was officially selected to head the construction of the ship, based on her extensive arts and craft experience.
“See here, under the base of the nose cone, where the payload system begins,” she explained to The Manatee, pointing to the unfinished structure. “I decided to line the top of the propulsion system with various colours of sea glass and clam shells, to give it a local flair. We’re also commissioning a mural to run alongside the exterior of our oxidation compartment.”
Of course, it all looks very nice, but will it fly?
“Oh my goodness, no,” said Noble, with a dismissive shake of the head.