Two hours after the Mars Rover landed on the Red Plant, Martians began firing on it.
After traveling 352 million miles in eight-and-a-half months, NASA’s rover Curiosity finally landed on Mars at 1:32 a.m. (EDT).
The high-tech craft hit the top of the Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph, and was then slowly lowered by a radical floating ‘sky crane’ before gently arriving in a massive crater.
The news was greeted with cheers and shouts in NASA’s Pasadena Mission Control, and within seconds the craft had sent back the first pictures of its new home.
But five hours later, the Mars Rover was under attack from Martian laser missiles.
Martian soldiers saw the rocket-powered alien spacecraft approach and then hover about 60 feet over the rock-strewn plain between the crater walls and the towering slopes of nearby Mount Sharp.
The first laser strikes didn’t seem to damage the Rover, but the Martians seemed to be altering their attack weapons. This caused great concern to the NASA scientists, who spent their lives on this project.
As soon as this machine touched the soil with its six wheels, its delivery craft abruptly disconnected the cables and, with the last of its fuel, safely careened away from its passenger. NASA’s new Mars rover, Curiosity, had landed.
The Martians apparently do not like Curiosity – particularly not the Earthling kind.
NASA is not sure how long the Martians will attack, but they are fearful that they will lose the contact with the Rover – within hours.
But one NASA scientist had anticipated a Martian attack. “They didn’t believe me when I said there were Martians. They thought I was reading too much Ray Bradbury, but I was right. And I’m glad I put an IED on board. If the Martians get too close – kaboom! The they’ll be blown to smithereens,” said NASA engineer Gupta Marjawala.
Workers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., are devastated. Only hours after the whole building (and people around the world) erupted in cheers, applause and hugs – they mission is now doomed.
“Five minutes ago, we were all hugging and kissing and now this,” said Sara Watts, one of NASA’s lead scientists. “This has destroyed us all.”
The $2.5-billion Curiosity rover was the 14th attempt to space probes on the Red Planet over the past four decades, nearly half failed or immediately lost contact.
And now… this one is undone by the Martians.
Will NASA try again? “We’re out of cash. NASA is shutting its doors. Maybe my grandkids will get another shot,” said Marjawala.