Giant daff to go into orbit!
A giant Marie Curie Daffodil is set to be fired into orbit, as part of a new publicity and fundraising drive with the European Space Agency. The 30-metre plastic and aluminium flower will be launched into a geostationary orbit on an Ariane 5 rocket, from Kourou (French Guiana) at the end of the month.
Its day-glo plastic petals are designed to catch the sun's rays, ensuring that it will be visible on cloudless nights for at least the next 70 years.
The new daff will blot out views of the Crab Nebula from 90 per cent of the earth's surface. But it will ensure that Marie Curie's symbol is blazed across the night sky for at least two generations. The move is just one of a raft of extra-terrestrial activities planned in celebration of the life and work of the Noble Prize winning scientist Marie Curie – as well as raising funds for Marie Curie.
Leading space scientist Dr Larip Loof said: "We are all very excited about the Orbiting Daffodil Platform, which has great potential for science and fundraising." "We had a spare Ariane 5 launcher knocking around the place, and we were wondering what to do with it, so when Marie Curie approached us with the suggestion of firing a daffodil into orbit, we were delighted to help out."
However, the project is strongly opposed by the European Union of Astrologers, who argue that the new space daff will make their work more difficult.
Spokesseer Russell Nostradamus said: "Firing a giant daffodil into the firmament is just the kind of unforeseen event that could wreck everyone's horoscopes for the next half-century. We've already got to put up with hundreds of satellites, black holes, all those extra planets they keep finding orbiting around distant stars – and now Marie Curie are sending up a daffodil. I foresee a grim future."