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back to article Mars rover faces icy death

NASA's Spirit Mars rover could be facing the prospect of freezing to death after attempts to free it from a sand trap suggest it may now have two disabled wheels. Spirit got bogged down back in April, and its three left wheels are almost completely buried. Its right-front wheel clapped out in 2006, and the right-rear wheel is …

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Gold badge
Pint

R.I.P. Spirit

You've done a fantastic job, absolutely above and beyond. You don't owe anyone anything. One day, I hope we arrive to build a monument to you and your twin, opportunity.

I'll raise a glass for the little rovers that could, did, and may yet still do more.

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Unhappy

Won't somebody please think of the rovers?

Think of poor old Opportunity all on its lonesome own.

They have done remarkably well. Hats off to NASA on this one.

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Silver badge
Thumb Up

Still amazing

These Mars rovers are still awesome, even after all this time.

If our plucky little rover gets iced, it has still been a great success.

Think about it:

These NASA boffins are driving/controlling vehicles on another planet, another flipping planet!!

Sorta makes your iPhone seem a tad lame, no?

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah but..

a fanboi will be along in a minute to tell you there's an app for that.

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Anonymous Coward

Obvious

Broken down? So Call the AA or the RAC. Some people.............

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Rob
Bronze badge
Joke

You have to be joking...

... who in there right mind phones the RAC, they are a complete shambles, it'll take them well over 4hrs to get there and that's if you lie and say that Spirit is a lone female.

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AA

Or when you call the AA, you find that although they have been taking you annual direct debit, they have your card logged as invalid as you asked to be removed from the membership database.

You explain that you DID NOT and ask when and who asked for you to be removed and they say that they do nto know - because you are no longer on the database.

And I am not the only one they have tried this on - effing thieving bar stewards.

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Jobs Horns

re: Still amazing

I am surprised NASA has not developed an app for controlling those things from the iPhone, though I guess getting it past the Apple Store border control police could be a hurdle...

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Happy

@ Obvious

The AA and RAC don't cover Mars.

NASA *did* call a local martian garage but they went "tsssk, won't be able to look at that until next May mate!"

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Anonymous Coward

So how long before.........

So how long before a couple of alien dodgy geezers in a grubby spaceship roll up and clamp it and tow it away. NASA will have to haul ass out to the nearest pound out on Alpha Centaurii to get it back.

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Gold badge
Happy

Re: martian garage

You forgot to mention what they quoted for parts on imported vehicles.....

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Unhappy

Last Ditch Attempt?

RAT arm to coerse the "little" fella down the hill again? Of course, I do not know what the load bearing potential is, and it could quite easily render the arm useless, but there are other things Spirit could do without the arm. Dragging that wheel won't help matters for sure..

Just a thought (which no doubt a person in the know will hopefully set me right)

Thank you Spirit - your info and pictures so far have been awe-inspiring. One of my faves is definitely the Mars Sunset. Just beautiful.

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Make some wheels sink.

Surely if they can't move it, they can at least make some wheels sink deeper by spinning them. Maybe that would allow them to tilt the rover towards the sun and keep it alive.

Then you have a stationary lander rather than a rover but it's still good for some of it's science work.

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Pint

Internal gearbox jam

Well, maybe jam wasn't the best of things to put in the gearbox?

Beer, 'cos wasps like that too.

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Pint

RIP . Well done!

The Rover has doen its job so well we've ascribed it a personality ("plucky") and wish it well in the next life. Fantastic engineering guys! Now go build an even better one.

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Gates Horns

External Jam

I'm no scientist, but I'm sure there's no jam on Mars.

Lame anti-Apple jokes, everyone, poor show. You should lose your pocket money for a week.

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Anonymous Coward

Never..

Anti Apple jokes are never lame, they serve a valuable purpose in society. A pissed off fanboi (of any creed) is a win in my book.

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Happy

we are all wondering how to build lunar and martian bases...

but if we keep sending probes and rovers like this, I'm sure that in a few years there will be enough junk on the surface to be used as building material, plus some frozen water to boil the stew...

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Thumb Up

Quebec can be proud

Those rovers got developed by a Canadien compagnie based in Quebec. They originally had a planned operational life of 90 days (that's what NASA had requested). How many years have they been running now?

If they can't get it out, it'll still have performed way beyond what had been asked.

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@alex

My thoughts exactly, use arm to pull/push.

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Alien

Manned mission

Will the (eventual) manned mission to Mars be allowed to find and rescue (recover) at least one of the rovers -

It would be nice to have one saved to posterity

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Pint

Sad to think about losing a friend

Well done all around.

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Joke

re: mad chaz Posted Wednesday 9th December 2009 14:37 GMT

Those rovers got developed by a Canadien compagnie based in Quebec. They originally had a planned operational life of 90 days (that's what NASA had requested). How many years have they been running now?

And if NASA had got the British government to build them, they would have been 6 months late, 150% over budget and only lasted 30 days

Where's the icon for talking like Lewis Page ?

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong.

They'd have been on time, within budget and on Mars sooner than expected.

Granted they'd have been on Mars in lots of tiny smouldering hot pieces embedded in the martian surface but still sooner.

Where's the smoking Beagle icon?

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Recovery - no; monument - yes

I'd prefer to see it preserved in place. I'd be happy to visit it there.

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Silver badge
Boffin

obvious question...

Have they tried spinning the wheel the other way to free the rock?

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Silver badge

So what?

NASA are probably glad to see it die.

Spirit has been tooling around Mars for over 5 years with obsolete sensors. Science produced is not proportional to time on the ground and Spirit probably did 90% of its useful research in the first year.

Since then Spirit has been tying up ground staff for little scientific output and just setting a dangerous precedent for reliability that is going to be hard for others to live up to.

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Go

LOL

Whats the bet it gets it self unstuck and moving again....

I would put money on it

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Silver badge

I don't understand

Why won't somebody send a mechanic with a couple of spare wheels?

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Alien

there is no app . . . it runs on java

http://www.sun.com/aboutsun/media/features/mars.html

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Silver badge

Bah!

Send up one of the prototypes refitted as a recovery vehicle like the Germans used to do with tanks in WWII and simply tow the bugger out of the hole it's dug itself into.

Alternatively, ask one of the Chinese astronauts if they can give it a push next time they're in the neighbourhood.

What? You didn't know about the secret Chinese Marsbase?

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