On August 5th, 2016, the Mars Curiosity rover sang itself “Happy Birthday”.

On August 6th, 2016, NASA picked up something else imitating the tune.

To say that there was a mad scramble in the director’s office that morning would be to underestimate how panicked everyone was. People were screaming in terror, while others were shouting with joy on their faces. Some were throwing files down on the director’s desk, another group was trying to show him different video and audio clips from the Curiosity.

“Enough! ENOUGH!” he screamed, “Do you think that I am unaware of the situation? You think I don’t know what is happening and how this changes everything?”

He pushed himself away from his desk, and walked towards the window behind him. Everyone froze. No longer a mob of scientists, they stood as a group of scared kids looking to daddy to solve their collective problem.

The director looked out the window. A deep breath in and a weighted exhale informed everyone how big of a deal this was.

“I realize that all of you are here with concerns and ideas about what this is. But there is something that you don’t know. Something that I need to share.”

 

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