NASA scientists, previously baffled as to the cause of the Mars rover Spirit's technical misbehaviour, announced in a press conference this morning that there was "credible evidence" that the rover had been damaged by small-arms fire.
"We're completely shocked," said Dr. Colin Powell, chief scientist in charge of the NASA Mars mission, sitting underneath a large black-and-white photograph of the surface of mars with a pencilled stick-figure taped onto it. "Never in our wildest dreams would we have thought we would find life on Mars, let alone hostile life, let alone hostile HUMAN life. This is a truly remarkable occasion."
When alerted to the fact that he was not a scientist for NASA, and instead was the U.S. Secretary of State wearing a fake beard, Dr. Powell took a large swig from a hip-flask and referred the question to NASA's new administrator, Dr. Donald Rumsfeld.
"Obviously, we considered all the alternatives before we jumped, that is to say came to this conclusion. It's simple, really. We can't find Bin Laden here on Earth - he must therefore be on Mars," Dr. Rumsfeld responded, adjusting an alarmingly large wig and accepting Dr. Powell's proffered flask. "Incredible as it seems, all you have to do is take a look at the photographic evidence. It speaks for itself. These kinds of images simply cannot be faked."
Shortly after the press conference, Dr's Powell and Rumsfeld were seen engaging in fisticuffs behind the NASA press building, apparently due to Dr. Rumsfeld emptying Dr. Powell's flask.
President Bush is due to hold a press conference shortly, where it is expected that he will commit troops to Mars.