In the not too distant future the first American astronaut prepares to set foot on the planet Mars. The world is watching this event live on television. Everything is a success, or so the world thinks, and he is treated as a hero upon his return. Later, it is discovered that the mission was a failure and as the astronaut was on Mars he died of an undetermined condition either due to toxic poisoning due to conditions on Mars or some unknown bacteria native to Mars. Mission controllers on Earth saw this happening and fed a false image into the "live" broadcast so as not to panic the public. The "astronaut" who returned to Earth was actually a double who had undergone surgery so as to look like the real astronaut. Only the wife of the astronaut began to suspect the man who returned, although looking identical to her husband, was somehow different. Unfortunately for those who created the hoax, the Russians announced that due to the American success they had launched their own mission ... Written by
Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>
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Mr. President, I have some very unpleasant news - for both of us.