August 07, 2012

Shooting Incident on Mars

On the same day that the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity landed on Mars after a nail-biting Entry, Descent, and Landing sequence, there are now reports of a shooting incident involving two rovers.

The mission managers in JPL, CalTech issued a terse press release which simply said: "There has been a shooting incident involving our rovers on Mars."

This has confounded the American public who did not even know that the rovers were equipped with guns in the first place.

Sources inside JPL have given some hints as to how this might have happened. The sources say the rovers are equipped with guns which they are programmed to use for 'self defense' in case of appropriate emergencies. The software inside the 'brains' of the rovers has algorithms which try to identify any Little Green Men nearby and if any creatures resembling the LGM are detected by the rovers, they are authorized to shoot at the LGM in self-defense. The rovers are allowed to take this decision autonomously without referring to mission control in Pasadena as the signal from Mars to Earth can take anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes to travel. The rovers might be endangered in the time interval it takes for managers back on Earth to take a look at any SOS signals sent by the rovers and send the appropriate commands back to the rovers to respond with.


Some experts are hypothesizing that Curiosity landed in close proximity to the existing Opportunity rover. The smaller Opportunity rover's brain was rather surprised at the sudden appearance of this new flying vehicle in the otherwise quiet Martian afternoon sky. The sky crane maneuver with the retro rockets flying made the Opportunity rover mistake Curiosity's landing to aliens landing.

When Curiosity raised its Mast, the resemblance between it and LGM became so overwhelming that Opportunity concluded that it had finally come across LGM. Instead of a cautious course of action such as sending the images back to Earth for further analysis and guidance about further actions, Opportunity decided to be pro-active.

It pulled the gun stored safely inside its belly and pointed it precisely in the direction of Curiosity with the help of lasers.

When Curiosity felt a laser focusing on it, it swerved in the direction of Opportunity and detected that Opportunity had a gun in its hand. Then Curiosity brought out its own gun in self-defense too.

Shots were exchanged between the rovers. In the meantime the rovers also sent signals to each other which made them realize that they were 'friendlies.' Then they stopped shooting  at each other. Experts on Earth at this time are busy checking what and how much damage occurred to the rovers in this incident.

Prob gun lobby guys have meanwhile defended the right of the rovers to bear arms for self-defense. A spokesperson for NRA said: "Imagine what would happen if real LGM were to confront the rovers. With their guns with them, the rovers at least have a fighting chance to fight with the LGM."

Opponents of the gun lobby have however strongly deplored NASA's decision to equip rovers with guns. A spokesperson for No Guns In Space said: "This incident quite clearly demonstrates the dangers of having guns in space. Even as we speak, we do not yet know if this senseless shooting incident may have fatally crippled instruments that cost the taxpayers billions of dollars to build, send, and deploy on Mars."

Justice Alito was seen on his home computer compiling a 50-page ruling which argued from an anthropomorphic standpoint why he thought rovers were people.

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