Long John Silver’s announced today that it will give America free Giant Shrimp if NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover project finds conclusive evidence of an ocean on Mars by February 29, 2004.

Steve Davis, president of Long John Silver’s, sent a letter to NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe, expressing support for NASA’s efforts to find conclusive evidence of an ocean on Mars. In addition, Davis announced plans to provide free Giant Shrimp to America if conclusive evidence of an ocean is found.

“We have closely followed NASA’s recent exploration of Mars and all of us are rooting you on to find ocean water on the Red Planet,” Davis wrote. “The ‘Free Giant Shrimp’ offer is our way of saying NASA’s exploration of Mars and the discovery of ocean water would be ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for seafood.'”

In the letter, Davis also officially registered interest in Long John Silver’s becoming the first seafood restaurant on Mars. “It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s just a matter of ‘when’ human beings are able to live permanently on Mars,” he wrote. “Long John Silver’s mission is to feed people with delicious seafood wherever they are — on earth or even outer space.”

Long John Silver’s new Giant Shrimp measure nearly a half-foot long and will be available at the chain’s more than 1,250 restaurants beginning February 16, 2004. If NASA announces the discovery of conclusive evidence of an ocean on Mars prior to February 29, 2004, America gets free Giant Shrimp at participating Long John Silver’s restaurants on Monday, March 15, 2004, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

For purposes of Long John Silver’s offer, an ocean is defined as a single body of water, the surface area of which equals or exceeds five million square kilometers. The company has purchased an insurance policy to cover the anticipated cost of the free Giant Shrimp redemption

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