Dear Earth,

Two months ago, with much fanfare and hoopla, I landed on Mars. I performed every element of the landing with perfection because JPL’s engineers DARED MIGHTY THINGS. Did you see the motto encoded in the landing parachute? (hint: read from the inner circle and read right) Do you know what the numbers mean?

The numbers are the coordinates of my location, the Jerzero Crater, Mars. It’s precisely where NASA’s vaunted space nerds intended me to be. It’s my code so you can come to fetch me, please.

Mars is good, the crater’s great, but I haven’t found an ounce of water yet. My plethora of cameras have sent many images to thrill the Earthlings who are 26 hours away. At warp speed.

I haven’t discovered Martians, though the little helicopter buddy that was sent as a companion chatters. He may be ingenious (his/her name is Ingenuity), but there’s no interface with me. I feel shunned. Why did the space nerds consign me to industrious silence?

By the way, the older Rover is here. But Curiosity was designed to be a lone wolf. Maybe it’s not inclined to share this lonely outpost with Ingenuity and me. The word is that Curiousity has become somewhat dusty, unhinged, and cranky is his older age. Perhaps he’s tired of the outrageous winds swirling about… At any rate, I’m not going near.

I’ve climbed hills and dales and covered a massive amount of terrain. I’ve collected soil samples, as programmed. I’m getting a bit lonely because, while I communicate plentifully with JPL dudes, the hyper-geeks don’t converse with kudos, only more work-work-work. So, here’s the question I have for my handlers:

When can I come back to Earth?

I’m smart enough to know that the next convenient apogee is 26 months – now 24 – from now. So, let’s plan it together (planet – wink, I made a play on words). It’s okay to wait, Earth mates. My Sky miles don’t expire until 2022.

As you likely know, because of the ever-pumping NASA PR machine, I’ve been working the assignments the space nerds gave. No sign of oxygen yet, but I don’t need it. I’m fine. I’m rocking with rocks, to the sound of the winds.

Beam me up, Scotty.