Mount Vernon, Illinois (IPP) - A Mount Vernon Boy Scout Troop that recently built a replica of a NASA rocket has become the first humans to land on Mars.
The Scouts had built a rocket from scrap metal and one of the boys father had bought a surplus F-1 Saturn V rocket engine at a local junk yard. The fuel tanks were added and a bunch of the boys had climbed into the rocket's control room for a group photo.
Someone had filled the fuel tanks with some spare liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen in order to create a realistic look that includes vapor steaming off the sides of the rocket.
Liquid oxygen and hydrogen are hypergolic in that they will ignite on contact. One of the scouts inadvertantly pressed the valve switch to the open position and the rocket engine ignited and the rocket lifted off and headed straight for the red planet which is very close to Earth at this time.
The scouts landed on Mars near the site of the Viking lander and were able to use the lander's communication system to communicate with Earth. Luckily for the scouts they had some MRE's on board which supplied them with food and toilet paper.
The boys will use the Viking lander's left over fuel to return to Earth orbit where they will rendezvous with the International Space Station and will then fly home on the next shuttle mission in January.