SACRAMENTO, CA – California Governor Gavin Newsom announced yesterday that the Mars Rover, Perseverance, was going to have to pay a significant fine for breaking the COVID-19 rules on non-essential travel after he discovered that it had gone to Mars on vacation.
“This is yet another example of egregious rule-flaunting,” Newsom stated in a press conference, after consulting with several NASA scientists about how best to get money wire transferred from Mars to Earth. “This Rover is one of the most technical pieces of equipment in the world, It knew the risks it was taking, but took that vacation anyway.”
He paused to show reporters the first image from Mars that had come through, depicting a selfie of the Rover drinking a cocktail in the Jezero Crater, its protective heat shield nowhere in sight.
“We are all tired of staying in our homes– or, in Perseverance’s case, its Jet Propulsion Laboratory. But if we don’t crack down on interstate and interplanetary travel, we are never going to stop the spread of this virus. What this Rover did was immature and selfish, and I sincerely hope that this fine will cause others of its kind to stop and really think about whether their future vacations are really worth it.”
Dr. Swati Mohan, the scientist in charge of the Mars Rover, explained that she was ashamed of the Rover’s actions, and that they did not represent NASA as a whole.
“I can’t believe Perseverance went to Mars in a direct violation of the laws that keep us all safe,” she said, shaking her head. “It knew that all non-essential space vacations were to remain within the state borders, but obviously it just thinks rules are for lesser robots.”
“The worst thing is that it entered Mars’ atmosphere without a negative PCR test,” she admitted, fear growing on her face. “What if it brings COVID-19 to Mars? We’re going to have to move on to Venus and hope we don’t screw that one up, too.”
At press time, Perseverance had just sent another selfie, this time with the Curiosity Rover, leading to worldwide outrage that the two vehicles were clearly not standing six feet apart.