Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Eavesdropping on the Mars' crew

"We will have a Space Station on Mars in the near future," our president tells us.

I see it now.

The world pulls together. Billions and billions of dollars are spent.

The trip to Mars takes six months alone, and the information sent back to us is priceless.

I can see the people at NASA, jumping over each other to hear the daily conversations with the crew at Mars Space Station Freedom.

Mission Control _ Mars Station Freedom here _ the butterfly died last night. We won't be able to conduct the experiment with it this week.

Ten-four, Freedom, we will send another up with your supplies.

Ahh . . . Mission, that supply ship leaves next week. What do you want us to do for the next six months until it gets here?

We will get back to you on that, Freedom.

Freedom, we may have to push that delivery date back some. The Russians can't afford to get their cosmonauts back again. We will be picking them up from the Moon Space Station and than we will get back to you.

Day 37.

Nothing has changed out our window, we got the soil sample on day one. We can either get some more samples or play our 21st game of Monopoly.

Ten-four, Freedom, our contract with Monopoly has been a hit on this mission. Mars Monopoly hit the markets today and it sold out in two hours!

Day 68.

We ran out of Starbucks coffee cups to drink out of when you film us. What should we do?

Reuse them for now. We will get some more to you after we repaint the Shuttle with the "Mars Monopoly, It's out of this world' logo.

Day 83.

Mission control.

Yes freedom, what is it?

Never mind!

Day 84.

Tom wants to know why we are here again. Hello . . . Mission!!

Day 85.

Mission? Tom locked himself in the bathroom. Do we have an extra key in the ship?

No. Freedom, we did not anticipate that!

Day 113.

We got more dirt today. Tom wants to know where you guys put the Lego blocks.

Day 117.

Tom is not in the ship, and we can see his foot prints walking away from the ladder outside.

Is he collecting soil on a space walk?

If he is, he forgot his pressurized suit in here. We were playing Monopoly and he just got up and said "This bites!" and walked out!

Day 666.

Mission, I know there's a delay in hearing our voices, and I hope you get this in time. A meteor the size of the moon just passed us heading straight toward the earth. Can you chip a message in the wall of the Grand Cannon mentioning that we are up here in case someone survives? Someone always seems to find those ancient writings.

Day 1,313.

Mission, the Cosmonauts just docked here and said when they took off they saw the earth disappear out their rear-view mirror. Can we stop reusing the Starbucks cups? They're kinda flimsy.

Mission: Did Tom ever show up there?

_ Guest columnist Bruce Michaud lives in Odessa. To the best of our knowledge, he has never traveled to Mars.