When Earth President Donald Trump signed a bill in March of 2017 authorizing $19.5 billion in funding for NASA, and announced plans for a Mars mission during his first term, some of the citizens of our closest space neighbor expressed both skepticism and alarm.
I reached out to Martian professor of human anthropology, Klaatu Thuvian—currently orbiting Earth in a flying saucer with two of his grad students.
“We weren’t expecting Earthers to visit for at least fifteen years,” Klaatu tells me in a Skype chat. “We’re not ready. We’re still trying to figure out how to protect ourselves from human viruses and microorganisms. Plus, our minister of human affairs hasn’t received the funds promised for the construction of Trump’s hotel and golf course in our capital city. And, frankly, we feel that Earth people are presently too xenophobic for a successful first contact.”
I ask Klaatu if he had been monitoring the conversation between President Trump and astronaut Peggy Whitson while she was aboard the International Space Station.
“Actually, we heard about Trump’s plan while listening to NPR over the radio,” Klaatu says. His grad students, Barada and Nickto, appear next to him on screen and perform what can be best described as a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch.
“Tell me, Mars…” Barada says in a perfect imitation of Trump’s voice. “What do you see a timing for actually sending humans to Mars? Is there a schedule and when would you see that happening?”
“You already approved a timeline for the mission to launch in 2033 when you funded NASA, you ridiculous human meat-suit,” Nickto replies in Whitson’s voice.
“Well, we want to try and do it during my first term or, at worst, during my second term,” Barada says. “So we’ll have to speed that up a little bit, OK?”
“Yeah, well, you should probably cancel the construction of your golf course on the sun,” Nickto sneers. “You’re gonna need the money.”
The grad students high-six each other and disappear, cackling off-screen.