Dear Dr. Boli: Is there life on Mars? —Sincerely, Michael Griffin, Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Dear Sir: Dr. Boli has not personally been to Mars, but he can extrapolate from what he knows about conditions on the planet and the nature of life itself. Based on those considerations, Dr. Boli can state with confidence that there are mice on Mars. No matter how hostile the environment, mice get into everything eventually. Mars could, for all Dr. Boli knows, be entirely made of mousetraps, and it would make no difference to the mice. Mice enjoy the challenge of a good mousetrap, and Dr. Boli’s own research indicates that mousetraps actually attract mice. Mice are like that. They laugh at adversity, so the hardships of Martian weather and temperatures are not likely to make much of a difference to the creatures. As for what they would eat, mice always find something. When the first human explorers land on Mars, they will discover mice. The mice, in turn, will discover the explorers’ rations. Dr. Boli hopes that your administration has considered this problem and made its expedition plans accordingly. Dr. Boli suggests that one of the first astronauts on Mars should be a cat.