UnNews:NASA rover squandering money on Mars

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25 March 2008

He's cute, but he's a spendthrift, too: Mars rover "Spirit" faces a cancellation of his credit card.

OLYMPUS MONS, Mars - Driving a car on Mars is not only a technical challenge, it's also an expensive hobby. This is what NASA had to learn the hard way these days. The Mars rover "Spirit" is facing a period of "hibernation" for budget reasons, while there are no technical obstacles to continue the mission.

"We have built an extremely intelligent, self-controlling robot for this mission," a NASA spokesman said, "but we misjudged its inclination to spend recklessly." The self-driving robot regularly hits the bars and casinos on the red planet, checks into the fanciest hotels, and also has a soft spot for precious stones. And then, gas prices on Mars presently are going through the roof as well.

NASA bankers are about to pull the plug of the smart machine. Before sending any more intelligent devices to other planets, they demand development of a "cheapskate" module for them.

The Spirit rover is also wanted for questioning in the mysterious death of its twin, Opportunity, who was found at the bottom of Valles Marineris three weeks ago. Police officials say this was a murder that was made to look like a suicide.

"No way that rover offed himself," said Chief Investigator Marvin Martin. "There were clear signs that it was hit from behind as it was looking over the edge. There are clear scrape marks that weren't caused by a plunge off a cliff. This makes me very angry."

Spirit has denied any involvement in the death, although he recently got a new paint job, potentially destroying all evidence of his culpability.

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