ChatGPT: Imagining a Future Press Release About CERES

Image (Credit): The dwarf planet Ceres. (NASA)

I was playing with ChatGPT recently and asked it to create a NASA press release that would be issued if we ever found life on the dwarf planet Ceres. I wanted to see what it would create. Here it is:

NASA Press Release: NASA Discovers Possible Signs of Life on Ceres

NASA scientists studying data from the Dawn spacecraft have discovered evidence of possible life on Ceres, one of the largest objects in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The discovery was made possible through the use of sophisticated instruments on the spacecraft, which has been orbiting Ceres since 2015.

The data collected by Dawn suggests the presence of complex organic molecules on the surface of Ceres, which are often associated with the presence of life. In addition, scientists have detected the presence of hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor of Ceres, providing further evidence of the potential for life on this small world.

“We are excited to announce that we have discovered evidence of possible life on Ceres,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “This discovery is a testament to the ingenuity and hard work of the scientists and engineers involved in the Dawn mission, and it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for astrobiology.”

The discovery of possible life on Ceres is significant because it suggests that life may be more common in the universe than previously thought. It also has important implications for future exploration of our solar system and beyond.

“We have always been fascinated by the possibility of finding life beyond Earth,” said Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This discovery gives us new hope that we may not be alone in the universe, and it underscores the importance of continuing to explore our solar system and beyond.”

The Dawn spacecraft is currently in its final orbit around Ceres and will continue to collect data for as long as its instruments remain operational. NASA scientists are also planning future missions to Ceres to further study the potential for life on this small world.

For more information on this exciting discovery, visit the NASA website at

NASA Headquarters

It’s a fun fictional piece that builds on some real information, though it has its weak points. Here are some of my observations:

  • Spacecraft Information – Outdated: NASA lost contact with the Dawn spacecraft in November 2018, so a recent finding like this is unlikely unless it was buried in earlier data still being studied. The press release later states that the Dawn spacecraft is in its final orbit and still collecting data. While the spacecraft might remain in orbit for decades to some, its mission is over, as NASA noted when it stated: “Dawn spent every last drop of hydrazine making science observations of Ceres and radioing them back so we could learn more about the solar system we call home.”
  • Scientific Information – Good Speculation: Ceres does have hydrothermal vents that some have speculated could harbor life.
  • People – Actual Officials: The two NASA officials quoted are real officials – Administrator Bill Nelson and Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate – saying the sorts of things you would expect people in their positions to say.

Overall, it is a good demonstration of what these chat bots can do – piece together a credible enough summary to keep you guessing. Just don’t post this anywhere without full context. I do not want to start any rumors.