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THREE CLAIMING TO OWN MARS FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST NASA

Three Yemeni men claiming ownership of Mars have filed a lawsuit against NASA for landing on the Red Planet, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Adam Ismail, Mustafa Khalil and Abdullah al-Umari have filed documents in a Yemeni court that they say prove their claim, the weekly Al-Thawri newspaper said.

"We inherited the planet from our ancestors 3,000 years ago," the Arabic-language paper quoted the men as saying.

NASA's Pathfinder spacecraft landed on Mars on July 4, and its Sojourner rover began exploring the planet and sending back photos and data for analysis.

"Sojourner and Pathfinder . . . began exploring it without informing us or seeking our approval," the men said.

The plaintiffs demanded the immediate suspension of all operations on Mars until the Yemeni court delivers a verdict. They also asked that the court order NASA to refrain from disclosing any information pertaining to Mars' atmosphere, surface or gravity before receiving approval from them or until a verdict is reached.

NASA officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

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