May 26, 2011

RIP SPIRIT: NASA Announces Death of Rover on Mars

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant"

Brave little robot: "Spirit last communicated on March 22, 2010, as Martian winter approached and the rover's solar-energy supply declined. The rover operated for more than six years after landing in January 2004 for what was planned as a three-month mission. NASA checked frequently in recent months for possible reawakening of Spirit as solar energy available to the rover increased during Martian spring. A series of additional re-contact attempts ended today, designed for various possible combinations of recoverable conditions. ...

"Spirit drove 4.8 miles (7.73 kilometers), more than 12 times the goal set for the mission. The drives crossed a plain to reach a distant range of hills that appeared as mere bumps on the horizon from the landing site; climbed slopes up to 30 degrees as Spirit became the first robot to summit a hill on another planet; and covered more than half a mile (nearly a kilometer) after Spirit's right-front wheel became immobile in 2006. The rover returned more than 124,000 images." -- -- NASA's Spirit Rover Completes Mission on Mars

I remember the night Spirit landed and began to send back the first of those images. Then I wrote:

On First Looking Out of NASA's Rover

Written on 2004-01-04

First moments of viewing first mosaic from Mars

Much have I imagined the arcing vaults of space,
And many fiery launches and cold orbits seen;
Round the darksided moon have I been
And raised a flag above Tranquility base.
Oft on one Red Planet would I place
Dreams of deep-brow'd Bradbury's Morning Green
Yet never did I breathe its pure serene
Till I saw Spirit gaze upon our brother's face:
Then felt I like some sentinel in strange skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like those at NASA, when the Spirit's eyes
Delivered them an image through the stars,
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise--
"All green" upon the dusty plains of Mars.

(Apologies to Keats. who would understand)

Rest in peace, faithful robot. We'll be coming to get you and bring you back to the cool, green hills of Earth.


Posted by Vanderleun at May 26, 2011 1:15 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Joe Biden: "Obama's decision to kill the Mars rover was one of the gutsiest decisions made by an American President."

Posted by: Blastineua at May 26, 2011 1:49 PM

Someday, Spirit will rest proudly in the Smithsonian. I hope I live to see that, but for that to be possible, we need to get cracking on turfing our the leftists and bankrupting their media propaganda outlets. Work with me on this, folks!

Posted by: sherlock at May 26, 2011 7:24 PM

If he comes back it will be by the 'hand' of another robot. It's easy to make an overwhelming case that a human will never set foot on Mars; besides, the human tendency to anthropomorphism shows why sending humans to Mars will never be necessary. The little robots go in our place.

Posted by: Brett_McS at May 27, 2011 12:48 AM

It will not happen if Obama gets another term in office. There won't be a dime left to spend on such frivolities.

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