"Spirit", one of the two NASA rovers that arrived on Mars in January, has been attacked and eaten by a Martian.
Scientists experienced both elation and disaster today when the Mars exploration rover, Spirit, began to send back pictures of what appears to be an alien being, living today on the surface of the red planet. Unfortunately, after a few minutes' joy, the robot abruptly ceased functioning, and all attempts to revive it failed.
"It appears that the Martian who came across Spirit was rather hungry at the time," confirmed a NASA spokesman. "We can only assume that Spirit's final destiny was to be a mid-morning snack."
Despite the set-back, experts are pleased to have finally discovered life on another planet. "The Martian clearly recognised the function of the camera aboard Spirit", said Professor Ivor Nastikoff, head of sciences at the University of Russia, clearing his throat. "He took a few photos of himself grinning at the lens; and then posed menacingly for one final shot, before, presumably, devouring the entire robot."
Speculation has been rife regarding the nature of this alien race. Certain scientists are convinced that the ability to use complex technical equipment, together with a logical decision to satisfy hunger, demonstrate that the alien is a highly intelligent life form. However, female professors have disputed this claim on the basis that the human male is capable of doing precisely the same.