The Mars Curiosity Rover has been fined for parking in a “Parents with Prams” parking space on the Martian surface. The Rover, which has been on the planet for several days, was taking landscape photographs and collecting soil samples when a local parking ranger issued the fine.
“We didn’t realise it was a restricted area,” said a NASA Spokesperson, while admitting the space agency would pay the $88 fine without question.
The craft, which was being remotely controlled from a NASA base at Cape Canaveral, was inadvertently parked in a spot near the entrance to a supermarket at the Mars equator. It is one of four Parents-with-Prams parking spots, intended to make the life of Martian parents easier when visiting the local shopping centre.
“To be honest, we’re lucky it wasn’t a Loading Zone spot. That fine is $172,” said a NASA insider.
Broken News understands that the NASA technician who was controlling the craft at the time, is a parent with two children. Nevertheless, the Mars Curiosity Rover is not fitted with a pram, as it is deemed unnecessary to its scientific research on the surface of the planet. On this basis, NASA has agreed to pay the fine.
A Martian diplomat told Broken News that he didn’t wish for the incident to cause conflict in the solar system.
“It was an honest mistake,” he said. “We just ask that you don’t do it again. This is a busy shopping centre, and while we encourage your scientific research, we’d ask that you do it in designated parking bays.”