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Photo || Jaiden Kubena

Photo || Jaiden Kubena

Photo || Jaiden Kubena

Sebastian Diaz, Columnist

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**This is not to be taken seriously. This is satire. Look it up.

PASADENA, CA- In response to recent innovations in space travel, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced plans at the A1 Conference to recruit suicidal patients from rehabilitation and therapy centers across the country to travel to the Milky Way’s central black hole, Sagittarius A*.

“Since they’re wanting to die anyway, why not send them off in style?” lead astrophysicist Neil Brown said.

The journey to Sagittarius A* would only take two to three years; however, it is a one-way trip. Upon arrival, the black hole’s gravity will exert such a force on the body that one would be stretched, contorted and distorted. The process is called spaghettification (Really. Look it up.).

GIF by Connor Matthews

“If you’re going to kill yourself, you might as well go ahead and do it and make it a show, something to watch,” Brown said. “This has to be the best form of physician-assisted suicide yet. We scientists are a tenacious people, so we believe in going all-in. We took this application seriously; the future of physics is at hand here.”

Travelers were selected by a panel of neurologists from UCLA. Three criteria were needed: self-loathing, commitment and a cynical perspective on life. Out of 236,451 applicants, only 100 progressed to the screening process. In the end, 15 people were selected to become Earth’s ambassadors to the center of the galaxy.

“This is the most honorable way to kill myself, I think,” said 47-year-old divorcee Joseph Lavon.

Lavon was in a marriage for 17 years. In the final years of the marriage, his wife, Veronica Lavon, started to feel the strain of Joseph’s copious drug use and alcoholism. In the spring of 2016, Lavon left their two-bedroom downtown apartment. She took their three-year-old daughter, McKenzie, with her as well.

“I have nothing left, man,” said Lavon. “After Veronica and I split, my drug and alcohol use increased even more. I don’t cope with loss very easily. But that’s life. I’m by myself, but hopefully I can redeem myself with this journey. This life is over for me. Time to go out kamikaze style.”

Rachel Wolfe, a finalist from Philadelphia’s Liberty from Life Therapy Center, expressed that though loved ones back at home might miss her, she has come to terms with it and is ready to face death with optimism.

“I’ve done all there is to do,” said Wolfe. “The only thing I haven’t done is kill myself black hole style. I am willing to die to see what it’s like. In all honestly, black holes should be our next landfill. We are running out of space on this earth to store our trash. I say we start investing in systems where we can transport our trash to black holes. There’s no need to waste space.”

NASA has set the launch date for sometime in April; final details are still in development. In the meantime, the passengers who will be boarding “Hades I” will attempt to keep pushing through life. Wolfe stated that she cannot wait to “meet her maker.”

“At this point, this trip to the center of the galaxy is the only thing keeping me going,” said Wolfe. “I have to try to keep on living so I can die. This is going to be one of the top stories in human history, and it’s an honor to be part of it. Sometimes, the most beautiful things in life are worth dying for.”

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