Rejected Submissions to NASA’s “Send a Haiku to Mars” Contest

NASA needs your help. They’re soliciting haiku poems to send on a future mission to Mars.

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Two hundred million
miles from home. Did I forget
to turn off the stove?

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I love the view but
hate this planet’s atmosphere.
Yelp rating: three stars.

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I’ve a feeling we’re
not in Kansas anymore.
Stupid GPS.

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It’s cold here on Mars
every day. So you’d have to
be crazy to stay.

But I think it’s worth
The distance from Earth, to see
the Martians at play.

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NASA wants haiku.
Limericks are considered
inappropriate.

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It seems fitting that
these poems for Martians were
written by Vogons.

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An Interview With GFAJ-1, the Arsenic-Eating Bacterium

Today NASA announced the discovery of a bacterium, called GFAJ-1, that can use arsenic in place of phosphorus. GFAJ-1 has graciously agreed to do an interview with us.

GFAJ-1 grown on arsenic

NASA photo of GFAJ-1 (Image Credit: Jodi Switzer Blum)

Unlikely Explanations: Let me start with the one question that’s on everyone’s mind. No other life form on Earth can use — or even tolerate — arsenic the way you do. Are you from outer space?
GFAJ-1: No, I’m from California. A lot of people confuse the two.

Unlikely Explanations: Thriving on arsenic the way you do is a major accomplishment. How did you do it?
GFAJ-1: It was a slow process that occurred over many generations. I won’t lie — initially, my family was as intolerant of arsenic as anyone else. But then arsenic started moving into the neighborhood, and we realized we’d have to adapt somehow.
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