How Leith faked the Mars landing and the Perseverance rover is actually on Portobello beach – Susan Morrison

The surface of Mars – or could it be Portobello beach? (Picture: Nasa/JPL-Caltech/AFP via Getty Images)The surface of Mars – or could it be Portobello beach? (Picture: Nasa/JPL-Caltech/AFP via Getty Images)
The surface of Mars – or could it be Portobello beach? (Picture: Nasa/JPL-Caltech/AFP via Getty Images)
True to our motto, ‘Persevere’, Leith’s first Mars landing overcame many obstacles.

Now ‘Perseverance’, our unmanned rover, is trundling about the Red Planet looking for samples, fossilised evidence of life, an open takeaway and somewhere to sit and drink a bottle of Buckie.

It’s been a challenge. I mean, yer Mars lander is not a cheap piece of kit. But that huge tram budget came in handy for hiding some of the bigger purchases. Like the rocket. We ran a couple of raffles and had a whip round for the other bits.

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We re-purposed a shedload of ‘Leithers Don’t Litter’ litter pickers to make those little rock-collecting arms. Neat, eh?

The Re-Makery workshop on Leith Walk did a bang-up job re-tooling some clapped out computers and an old TV aerial to get the pictures back. They did terrific work on that parachute. That needed a ton of old curtains. If you look closely you can just see a flash of floral chintz.

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Obviously, few people have realised that Perseverance is our mission. Originally we planned mission control to be in the Port o’ Leith bar, but the pandemic put paid to that, so we outsourced to the Americans. They’ve done this sort of thing before.

We also thought we’d let the Yanks do the talking. Our original mission commander, Wee Malkie the Kirkgate Bam lost his false teeth early doors Covid-wise and the dentist is still shut, so he tends to dribble. He’s a bit self-conscious about that. Much better to have a smart young American gal front-up the mission to Mars.

At least that’s our cunning cover story. It's only a matter of time before our hoax is revealed by the relentless unmaskers of conspiracy. The people who told us the Moon landings were filmed in Ardrossan because there’s no atmosphere there and the world is flat because if it wasn’t Australians would fall off will reveal the shattering truth.

Perseverance, they will discover, is actually lumbering about Porty beach, which will explain the mysterious messages coming back complaining about litter, seagulls and cyclists going too fast on the prom.

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