NASA's Mars rover vehicle has broken off contact with Earth and begun wandering off on its own. Despite years of training, the vehicle was unable to control itself and began humping rocks and chasing its own shadow across the Martian surface.
The Mars Rover was hatched from a giant robot egg in 2004. For five years it was trained to sniff out water and signs of life, in preparation for its arduous mission on the Red Planet. This training consisted of rewarding the robot with treats such as bones and chewy snacks whenever it behaved well. The Rover was also given a slap if it tried to lick its own balls, which happened a lot during the stressful training programme.
Once training was complete, the vehicle was still reluctant to fly to Mars. It was eventually persuaded to enter the rocket to Mars after following a stick that was thrown on board.
Once on Mars, the vehicle was being guided around the planet by a trail of dog biscuits. The biscuits were fired at Mars from a special cannon built onto the Hubble space telescope. The Rover is addicted to eating dog snacks, which it burns for energy before excreting onto the planet surface. It is not house-trained, but on Mars that doesn't matter.
NASA say they do not know how to find their vehicle now that it has run off. However, the Korean space agency have offered to send up a rocket to retrieve the errant Rover. A spokesman for the KSA said, "We would very much like to taste - I mean rescue - this delicious missing rover."