MARS—In a desperate attempt to make up for years of aimless planetary wandering, the Curiosity Rover spent most of Monday frantically driving around the Red Planet in order give the impression that it had been busy before the impending arrival of NASA’s InSight Lander. “Aw, fuck, I’m going to be up all night scouring everything from here to the Naukluft Plateau for signs of microbial life,” said the car-sized rover, which had occupied itself for the past Martian year jumping aimlessly into sand dunes just south of Aeolis Palus. “I guess I’ll just take a bunch of pictures and say they’re from different days. Damn, I can’t believe I put this off until now. Maybe they won’t notice these soil samples were all taken from the same crater?” At press time, NASA was instructing the rover to ease up on reports of possible water on Mars after half a dozen samples of liquid turned out to be pools of exhaust from Curiosity’s suddenly overworked engine.
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