NASA’s Mars Rover, Curiosity, has made a startling discovery amongst the dusty grey rocks of our nearest planet: a feline turd just under a kilometre in length. Despite being two storeys high and smelling strongly of fish heads, the planetary explorer managed to tread in it shortly before breakfast, while its sensors were still a bit bleary.
“Judging by the composition of this Martian doody and the way it splattered all around the wheel arches of Curiosity, we think this could be the strongest hint yet that Mars is home to fascinating life-forms”, explained Mission Control’s Charles ‘Chuck’ Peters. “That’s if they haven’t already been wiped out by some massive fucking space cat.”
Experts in space maths are currently trying to reprogram Curiosity, so that it can tiptoe carefully around the alien outrage and get on with its work. An initial attempt to laser a path through it was quickly abandoned, after Curiosity’s olfactory sensors caused it to vomit up an airbag.
It is hoped that the exploratory vehicle will reach the turd’s ‘pinch point’ some time before mid-November, but it’s a dangerous operation that exceeds the robot’s design brief. “Obviously, we tested Curiosity for most eventualities”, insisted Peters, “but owing to budgetary constraints, we took a risk that we wouldn’t be interrupted by a gargantuan fucking cat.” Hurried computer simulations now suggest that Curiosity could be buried unnoticed with the turd, or carried off and tormented, underneath a statistically improbable wardrobe.
While the shadow of the ‘faeces on Mars’ can be seen by amateur astronomers from Earth, no-one has yet captured an image of its owner. “That’s understandable”, explained Peters. “We now think that Mars was once covered with plush grassland, tiny mammals and even the odd avian species, but all that changed with the arrival of an alien, furry bastard. It's probably sleeping off its lunch, in a big drawer full of socks.”
The team hopes Curiosity can learn enough about Mars’ past to prevent a similar fate befalling our own planet, but Peters has a back-up plan, should a massive paw start trying to flip it over: “If we can grab it with the robot arm, we might just be able to rub its face in it.”