Lost Mars Probe Found
By our man with his eye on Uranus,
Two years ago, British scientists lost contact with the Beagle 2 Mars probe shortly after its launch. But yesterday, with the help of a young American astronomy buff, the craft was finally found...on the Earth's moon
"I don't know what to say," Peter Noble, lead scientist on the failed mission told utterpants over a swift half in the appropriately named 'Half Moon' public house. "It must have been a matter of miscommunication between myself and the navigational programmers. Mars—Moon. Moon—Mars. They sound very much alike, particularly after six pints of Old Fart draught bitter. Also, one can't rule out the possibility of wind," added the astronomer, shifting his considerable bulk with an embarrassed laugh.
Professor Noble went on to explain that the scientific team had long given up hope of locating the probe on the Martian surface. "We continued to come into work," he said wistfully, "but we were taking longer and longer lunches, and many of us were calling in sick on Fridays."
Then Noble received word that fourteen-year-old Ted Milton had spotted something through his telescope. "I was looking at heavenly bodies like I do most evenings," Milton told Utterpants, "when Mrs Bell put out her light and—"
"Why a flying saucer?" we asked.
Less than two hours after being interviewed for this story, Ted Milton was pulled from a neighbour's bush and is currently being held on charges of gross indecency and the theft of a 'Rabbit' vibrator and underwear belonging to a Mrs S Bell.
Story © 2006 Ray Grant. Picture, design and construction © 2006 utterpants.co.uk / 030106