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.

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

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

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

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.

NASA wants haiku.
Limericks are considered
inappropriate.

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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