Two Engineers Escape the Earth on Perseverance Rover

Scientists, in a desperate attempt to escape COVID-stricken Earth, escape to Mars on a rover.

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By Julia Shen

While the majority of us have spent a year planning our escape from COVID-stricken Earth, few have actually succeeded. However, according to a report published by NASA, two engineers, previously thought to have disappeared, have escaped Earth via the Perseverance rover.

The NASA team first discovered this while logging on to the computer to receive the rover’s first sound recordings. According to scientist Dr. William Rice, “I was just about to listen to some space wind when I started hearing what sounded just like Rob[ert D’Tach] and [Dr.] Jenna [Flydaway] singing ‘I’m Leaving On a Jet Plane.’” Though Rice initially thought it was a prank, he and his colleagues confirmed that D'Tach and Flydaway were on Mars after their Instagram accounts were flooded with red-planet selfies.

Despite the initial shock, few were surprised by the details of the disappearances. Flydaway’s husband, Enipt Flydaway, described seeing a letter on the kitchen table the night before she disappeared: “I woke up, and I saw this piece of paper addressed to our four-year-old daughter, and all it said was, ‘Mommy is going bye-bye for a year.’ So I thought about it for a good five minutes, and I realized that what she probably meant was she was going to Mars. Unless she meant to imply that she was trying to file a divorce, but eh.”

Moreover, both scientists were reported to have suffered extreme COVID fatigue prior to disappearing. D’Tach’s roommate, Abe Endond, reported that D’Tach had gotten sick of being cooped up in their small apartment and had perhaps viewed the spacious rover as an alternative. “If there’s one thing I hope,” he lamented. “It’s that it wasn’t because of my cooking. I know Rob never liked my food much, but going to Mars to avoid it is just too much.” An internal investigation also found that Flydaway and D’Tach were responsible for changing the messages sent to alien civilizations from the original, “Pls come here we humans are awesome,” to “SEND HELP WE’RE DYING LMAO.”

Though it is not entirely clear how Flydaway and D’Tach got onto the rocket, preliminary results of the investigation point to poor oversight. Both Flydaway and D’Tach were mechanical engineers working on the body of the rover and had modified the design to contain a few extra cubic meters for, as they put it, “stuff.” Their supervisor approved the plan without question, noting that “who the hell knows what kind of crazy $%#* you might find out there?”

Poor security also played a role. As one anonymous security guard confessed, “I just remember waking up at like two in the morning and seeing these two people right in front of my desk trying on Buzz Aldrin's old spacesuit, and I honestly thought I was in a dream, so I went back to sleep. Like, how was I supposed to know they didn’t belong there?”

Despite the humiliation of allowing two engineers to escape the earth unnoticed, NASA is trying to take advantage of the situation. Remarkably enough, though they failed to bring any oxygen, food, or water with them, Flydaway and D'Tach are still alive. While there have been many scientific explanations for this, the most prominent has been that Flydaway and D'Tach were never human. As director of the NASA Center for Human Respiration Dr. Foni Ersatz said, “A lot of people have been asking us how this could even have occurred, and honestly, we have no clue. Please don’t ask us. However, we do know from our recent studies that 99 percent of humans deprived of oxygen die immediately, so in my estimation, Flydaway and D'Tach are probably aliens.”

If this theory were to be true, it would create a host of new scientific debates. Scientists would need to explain their absurdly low energy needs compared to other creatures to which some have already proposed that Flydaway and D’Tach simply photosynthesized. However, even this would not adequately explain their escape, since most photosynthetic creatures, when asked, prefer to stay put.

Another popular theory, The Net Breath theory, claims that while COVID-19 takes the breath away from most patients, it makes up for it by giving extra breath to a select few who have been deemed “worthy” by the virus, including Flydaway and D'Tach. While, for obvious reasons, we were unable to interview the coronavirus to verify or refute this, some scientists, including Dr. Ersatz, believe the theory could have merit.

Rather, Ersatz suggested, we should focus on the scientific implications of this new discovery. “If there are some who are able to survive in space without oxygen, then we are definitely going about space travel the wrong way. What’s the use of programming robots to do something when you can just make a human do it? Imagine the money we would save on oxygen tanks,” she exclaimed. She proposed conducting a large-scale study on whether COVID-19 infection really does convey respiratory superpowers to a small percentage of people. The results of such a study, as she put it, could be “breathtaking.”