NASA today announced a mission to understand whether intelligent life could have once existed in Essex. The two year mission to send an unmanned rover ‘the Vomit Comet’ to the bleak English town has been met with excitement by scientific community.
There have been two previous un-manned missions to Essex. The first mission failed in 1997 just days after its launch. The expensive probe was inexplicably found jacked up on bricks with its radio equipment missing. The second probe launched two years later later landed yards from the ‘Sugar Hut’ on Brentwood high street. Despite being operative for three months and beaming back hours of footage to mission control, it failed to spot any signs of intelligent life.
The new probe has been designed to correct the mistakes of the previous missions and is designed to be far more suited to its expected environment. The $30m probe has been designed to resemble a 2003 Ford Mondeo. Carrying sophisticated sensors and highly sensitive photographic equipment, it will be able to spot any signs of life in the dingy primordial Essex swamp. In addition, there is a series of highly powerful sensors that can detect the three crucial elements for life in Essex – collagen, silicon and peroxide.
Scientists are targeting a five hundred metre square section of barren wasteland as the landing site. This has been named by the mission as ‘the town Plaza’. It is believed that the site has many of the factors needed to support simple, basic life forms. NASA had considered sending a manned mission to Basildon, but the cost of the operation, and the sudden lack of available astronauts, led to them considering other options.
The announcement comes days after one of the very earliest probes launched by NASA in 1977 – ‘Beaver 1’, was believed to have reached the edges of Essex, and was passing out of the heliosphere and into a little understood region between Essex and Kent, known as the ‘Dartford tunnel’. Here communications are expected to be lost, as NASA didn’t plan on the increase in the toll from £1.50 to £2.00.