Pasadena, CA - Following the announcement that NASA engineers had
located the communication problem with the Spirit rover, they also
released a few photos, which they had been subjecting to intense
analysis over some “puzzling anomalies.”
Photo from rear camera of Spirit
the lander, with a close-up
of the "puzzling anomalies"
Several different "First Pictures from Mars" joke emails
have been circulating on the Internet, such as; a McDonald’s
sign on the Martian horizon, Marvin the Martian and a remote Wal-Mart
store have been spotted there. "Sure, we got chuckles out of
those pictures. But if only people knew what our first photos showed!
We didn't advertise it, but we were trying to get Spirit as far from
the landing site as possible," said one NASA scientist who commented
on condition of anonymity.
After analysis, NASA scientists
able to provide a
Analysis by the NASA scientists showed
that the strange objects in the picture were not a part of the Martian
landscape, nor were
they a recognizable component of the lander or the rover.
"When we saw the color-enhanced photos, we had a bad feeling
about it. We still are not sure what they are, but several of the
scientists have theories. We reported that the rover was traveling
slowly, but we were really hightailing it away from the landing zone
as quick as possible. We're not in Kansas any more, you know. On
Wednesday, we'd gotten one mile away from the lander and were happy
Last night, the NASA celebration to welcome in the Chinese New Year
had the atmosphere of a wake. Despite the festive decor, attempts
to raise spirits failed and the celebration was understandably
rather subdued. At one point, one of the Mission Managers toasted
announcing, "Ding-dong, the witch is dead!"
asked directly if the rover's problems were related to the "puzzling
anomalies" seen at the landing site, our anonymous contact merely
pointed to all the party decorations, muttered "Flying monkeys," then
staggered off to get a drink refill.
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