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Seattle, WA/Mars – Blue Origin, the space company led by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, released dramatic photos of SpaceX’s Starman arrival at Mars. The images, beamed from Blue Origin’s Blue Moon Interstellar Explorer or BMIE (pronounced Beemie), were beamed just seconds after the Tesla Roadster arrived at the red planet.

Mr. Bezos congratulated Elon Musk for arriving second at Mars, saying Starman’s arrival was a monumental achievement for SpaceX and humanity.

“We sent the Beemie to Mars earlier this year to do some initial surveying for our human-crewed flights in the next 18 months,” said Mr. Bezos during an early morning press conference. “We have made some important discoveries and plan on releasing that information later this month. We decided late last month that we would maneuver our spacecraft to capture Starman’s arrival, and we nailed it.”

In 2018, SpaceX announced what Mr. Musk describes as the “silliest thing we can imagine” aboard its Falcon Heavy rocket. That payload was a Tesla Roadster with a dummy astronaut in the driver’s seat named “Starman.” In August 2019, as the Roadster completed its first orbit around the Sun and made its way towards Mars, it arrived a few weeks ago and was greeted by Blue Origin’s Beemie.

As Starman and his Tesla made their way across our solar system, radiation and debris took their toll on both, destroying all organic materials to bare metals. This left a mere skeleton of Starman and the aluminum frame of the Tesla Roadster. Interestingly, the Michelin tires seemed to have survived the entire journey, prompting the company to launch a new “Tougher than space” advertising campaign.

A spokesperson for SpaceX at first doubted the Blue Origin photographs until they were confirmed by NASA, who were unaware of Mr. Bezo’s clandestine flight to Mars.

An enhanced version of what remains of SpaceX's Starman Roadster spacecraft.
An enhanced version of what remains of SpaceX’s Starman Roadster spacecraft.

“We had no idea where Blue Origin launched their spacecraft,” said NASA director of communications Bethany Millbright during an impromptu press conference. “Obviously, this is a concern for both NASA and the Federal Government. However, despite the irregular program, everyone is quite excited about this achievement and what it means for the Mars exploration program.”

Musk Reacts in Typical Fashion

Elon Musk was non-plussed and even somewhat irritated about the announcement when reached for comment.

“Well, Jeff can go F#@$ himself,” said Mr. Musk to the Associated Press following the release of the photos. “I mean, I get breaking the rules. When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor. But he did this without consulting the government, NASA, or even SpaceX. That’s not fair.”

When asked if Blue Origin’s success means that SpaceX will accelerate its Mars plans, Musk grinned.

“Oh, we’re not going to take this sitting down. We’re already working on moving our timetables up by a year or two. Look for some amazing achievements within months.”