Northern Plains, Mars - (Hydrocarbons Mess): Scientists at NASA's Jet Convulsion Laboratory are celebrating today after the Mars Phoenix sent back stunning pictures confirming the red planet is a gigantic rock/ice-covered crude ocean.
"There's enough sweet light crude up there to bankroll the GOP's White House presidential aspirations until the third millenium," the JCL's Prof V Smart told reporters today.
Pictures relayed via the Odyssey satellite orbiter show stunning results of early borings into the Martian arctic plain.
"This of course is a region so devoid of pesky Terran polar bears that it's enough to make Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin weep tears of joy," Smart added in nudge-nudge, wink-wink fashion.
The images were obtained after the Phoenix's robotic arm bored through two miles of permafrost and alien artefact-strewn rubble.
Also relayed back to NASA HQ are pictures of previous landing attempts by Viking 1, Mars Pathfinder, Opportunity, Viking 2, Beagle 2, Spirit and Mars Polar Lander crafts.
"It's a spacecraft graveyard down there," Smart added, they're all lying on top of one another, buried in a one mile deep crater.
"We're working on a theory that the site is some kind of galactic elephant-trap beacon, designed to lure exploratory craft to a disastrous end."
The crater has now been officially named the Stephen Hawking Center for Intelligence.