NASA scientists were jubilant, yet cautiously optimistic last night that there is indeed life on Mars, after the Phobos probe beamed back still images of what appear to be cycle paths on the surface of the planet Mars.
The paths, estimated to be between six and twelve feet wide can be clearly seen running alongside what were once thought to be canals on the red planet.
Initially, NASA staff were skeptical as to the validity of the cycle path theory, but following a series of computerised enhahancements of the images, they were left in no doubt.
Although the pictures have not yet been made public, they are said to contain explosive evidence of life on Mars, and are the first indication that Mars once played host to a complex transportation system.
Reporter Sig Johansson of The Stockholm Sentinel, one of the few reporters who have seen the images, is in no doubt that their public release will herald a media firestorm.
"I have seen the images," he reported. "And there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that they are cycle paths. There are even stick like representations of bicycles laid down on the paths, which certainly appear to indicate that the paths were there for the exclusive use of cyclists. This is a sensational development. It proves that not only do Martians actually exist, but they actually had - or indeed, have - bikes, and that they appear to be keen cyclists. And probably extremely health conscious too."
More as we get it.