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Finally, Word From Mars Lander!
SEND NUTS!

PASADENA, Calif. -Finally a signal was heard from the Mars Polar Lander, but NASA officials are fearful and confused about the strange message. "It would appear," confided one NASA official, "That the Mars Polar Lander is being held for ransom by Martian Ice Squirrels!"
A window for contact with the still-silent spacecraft opened at 11:30 p.m. EST Saturday. And the disturbing message, "SEND NUTS!" was received an hour later.
In August, a NASA spacecraft had snapped pictures of dark shapes that at first glance looked like trees sprouting from the frozen south pole.
But scientists said, of the new images from the Mars Global Surveyor;
``You may look at this and say, 'Gee, those look like trees and plants, ``But since this whole area is at about minus 150 degrees Celsius, these are clearly not plants growing up out of the frost, but something else is happening,''
And the embarrassing Sept. 23 loss of the lander's $125 million sibling spacecraft, the Mars Climate Orbiter, is not far from the minds of engineers and scientists at JPL, the space agency's lead center for planetary exploration.
NASA investigators now believe there is a likely connection between the Kidnapped Lander and the Orbiter.






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