A summer student has been removed from an experiment after NASA decided that a completely accurate note mentioning the US President, attached to an experiment that fell in a New Jersey field, was a “misguided attempt to be lighthearted,” a NASA spokesperson told WNBC-TV.
The AP reports:
South Brunswick police say the package, attached to a parachute, was making a hissing sound and included a note that said: “NASA Atmospheric Research Instrument NOT A BOMB! If this lands near the President, we at NASA wish him a great round of golf.”
The US President really was at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, 47km away from where the package landed.
The package was a wire-filled white styrofoam box attached to a red parachute, WNBC-TV reports, that landed in a New Jersey solar panel field Tuesday local time.
A bomb squad and even the Secret Service investigated the package, which turned out to be an ozone-measuring device launched as part of the “Long Island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study”. It was one of six balloons, another of which did land near the president’s Bedminster golf course.
Gizmodo reached out to the project’s lead scientist, Paul Miller at the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM). “I don’t have much of a comment on the note itself — I just learned of it this morning,” he said via email.
“The ozone sonde (i.e., the ‘styrofoam box’) launches are an important piece of a multi-year effort that NESCAUM is helping coordinate with universities, states, and federal agencies to get a better handle on New York City’s smog problem and the millions of people it affects. We’ve had some pretty bad smog events this summer, and I’d hate to see the effort get sidetracked over an ill-advised note.”
The student was let go, reports the AP, because bomb threats are bad. Just last week, an unknown person or people may have attempted to assassinate the Venezuelan president with bombs attached to a drones.
At time of writing, President Trump had not yet tweeted about the incident.