Roswell, Nevada - NASA HQ boffins have released video footage of what they say is the Russian Mars probe's final moments before being swallowed up by a UFO resembling a giant space squid.
The Phobos-Grunt was carrying a Chinese heavyweight payload before vanishing off-radar soon after lift-off.
Cameras onboard the Curiosity rover have snapped what looks like a monstrous entity belching fumes just outside the Van Allen radiation belt.
"Poor fools, they never stood a chance," ex-NASA astronut Captain Lisa Nowak's PR commented as news of the incident broke at lunchtime.
Curiosity is on course for an early 2012 landing on Mars' Elysium Planitia volcanic region.
Today's recorded telemetry message may now be posted on the Agency's YouBoobski! U-Tube channel; all ten pre-programmed Russian space monkeys are likely to have perished in the otherwise un-manned probe.