WASHINGTON-In an astonishing announcement, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has revealed that the Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity have discovered irrefutable evidence of life past and present on the red planet.
The proof of past life is a black fountain of bubbling crude oil that welled up from beneath the ground within five feet of Spirit on Tuesday. Subsequent surveillance by the Mars Global Surveyor has indicated a deep, rich pocket of oil beneath Spirit's location in the Columbian Hills.
Speculation on the exorbitant cost of obtaining and transporting the oil from Mars to Earth immediately sent gasoline prices skyrocketing to 93 dollars a gallon.
More unfortunately, NASA officials revealed, the Mars Rover Opportunity has simultaneously uncovered proof of present Martian life: the Meridiani Planum hideout of a democracy-hating tyrant and a band of evil terrorists with a stockpile of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
"That pretty much settles it," said Defense Secretary Robert Gates at an emergency press conference at the Pentagon yesterday.
"If we don't fight them up there, we'll have to fight them here. I will be leaving to meet President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Admiral Mullen, and Dr. Griffin at the White House immediately after the press conference."
As the traditional overseer of NASA for the administration, Vice President Dick Cheney has already urged Congress to write NASA a blank check to kick-start the research and development process to get humans to Mars as quickly as possible.
"Deficits don't matter," Cheney growled as he passed a press contingent on his way to the White House yesterday, reiterating his most cherished economic principle.
Skeptics within the scientific community have quickly pointed out that NASA has yet to release any images from the Mars probes to support its assertions.
When advised of these reports at a Rose Garden press briefing yesterday, President George W. Bush interrupted impatiently and retorted, "NASA workers have to put food on their families, too.
"We need to get past these conspiracy theories and get my bud--get some energy surveyors, some bases and some troops up there as soon as possible so Martians can vote."
When informed by a science reporter that Mars is named for the Roman god of war and that its moons Phobos and Deimos are named for fear and terror, respectively, the president's mood lightened noticeably as his patented squinting frown melted into his trademark beady-eyed smirk.