NASA will today end attempts to contact its Spirit Mars rover, killed by lack of sunlight during a "stressful" Martian winter. The agency last heard from Spirit on 22 March 2010, when it transmitted from the sand trap in which it had been stuck since April 2009. The orientation of its solar panels led scientists to conclude it …
:( Gone but not forgotten
The little rover that could
I shall raise a glass tonight to Spirit. What an amazing success story -- designed to operate for three months, it lasted SIX YEARS!
6 earth years
not only that but thats around 10 Mars years of Winter cycles, an amazing achievment for both the robots and shows what we can achieve if we put our minds to it
Heres a drink to your lost bother Spirit, may Opportunity stay well and reach its new goals
I never fail to be amazed
Technology is cool.
We've got robots on other worlds people!!
Obligatory XKCD strip
re: OBLIGATORY XKCD STRIP
You sir, have made me sad...
My All time favourite XKCD Strip
as the title says.
nah - it's an explorobot ....
What the others said
Had that on my wall for months...
Shame, but kudos for the designers. And for Spirit, of course. A pint in your memory.
One of my two favourites ever (the other being extrapolation).
To Spirit - a shot of tequila and a cry of "Remember the Alamo. And Mars."
"killed by lack of sunlight during a "stressful" Martian winter."
Nothing that a couple of spare batteries and a cleaning lady with a duster cannot fix. Oh, and while she's at it she can give the contraption a shove so that it could drive out of that (quite shallow) pit and go do what it's supposed to be doing.
Such a crumbling beauty...
"Nothing that a couple of spare batteries and a cleaning lady with a duster cannot fix. "
Or, as Tom Waits put it: "Such a crumbling beauty - ah, there's nothing wrong with her a hunnerd dollars won't fix"
"Nothing that a couple of spare batteries and a cleaning lady with a duster cannot fix"
Unfortunately not. The deep freeze without being able to keep heaters running will have cracked and damaged important parts of Spirit's circuitry. The faithful little rover is not going anywhere ever again.
I haven't felt this sad about a robot since the first time I saw Silent Running as a kid.
One of the best Sci-Fi films ever
Silent Running - a masterpiece!
It made me cry too...
I recently bought Silent Running on DVD (it's dirt cheap on all the major DVD webshops) to re-live my childhood memory of watching it, and I'm glad to say that although VERY dated it is still very emotive. I'm glad I re-visited it.
Stop it space travel nitwits
'Red Planet winter/estimated -55°C,/icy death.'
So one day the earth will be so over populated that we will have to travel to places like this to survive?
We could populate antarctica , the sahara and pretty much any barren wasteland on earth and it would still be better and cheaper.
"We could populate antarctica , the sahara and pretty much any barren wasteland on earth and it would still be better and cheaper."
Yes, and it would still be on one, single, vulnerable planet...
The only way of ensuring that the human race can survive, is to not have all our eggs in one basket.
@anti-space travel nitwit
Antarctica in winter @-55°C? How about -80°C?
So given that antarctica is a lot colder than that,
we routinely fly hundreds of people about in pressurised containers and we've got power supplies whose refuelling needs are measured in years or decades, what you're ACTUALLY saying is that there's absolutely no technological barrier to colonising Mars aside from getting there.
Once we can do that routinely and get to another couple of planets, we can start considering ourselves an impressive civilisation. Until that date, we're just one asteroid/plague/war away from being a thin layer of plastic and shoes for a future archaeologist to dig up.
if it wasnt for the bleeding heart scaremonger greens, we could have fitted them with small nuclear generators and then they wouldn't have needed solar power. Even on explosion i doubt it would have been much worse than Fukushima (itself a miracle triumph considering what battered the reactors there)
The next NASA Mars mision, Curiousity, IS nuclear powered, because of the high power draw of the on-board lab. Sadly, it's unlikely to match Spirit's impressive unexpected longevity - the half-life of the fuel is pretty darn predictable.
Pu-240 is somewhat less than 100 years. Apparently it's the other stuff in the battery that wears out first. The next mars mission is almost the last of what we have from Pu reprocessing, unless we pick up more.
I only hope...
...that we live long enough to see man on Mars and that they can rescue Spirit. Imagine the footage..Mars rover going along, man gets out and picks up robot. The same ofr the moon, let's go back and land again at the Apollo sites or at least do a flyby.
I also hope
That one of the first Mars landings can be specifically designed to rescue that poor rover. It'd be a defining point for our race- not only getting to another world, but doing it to rescue something.
Re: I only hope
I can only imagine such sites becoming quite sacred to colonists, eventually having domes built over them so tourists could pay money to visit them.
Resuscitate the old one please?
Can't the new mars rover they are sending blow the dust off the older ones solar panels? Am I thinking too simple here?
Good point. Re-task Opportunity to head over to Spirit and get it to give it a shove. Then both robots can trek over to Endeavour together. Not only would this be totally cool, we'll get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, too. It'll be like those two off The Black Hole!
NASA should have given them little rover hands to hold while they romance their way around Mars.
Mine's the one with the Mills & Boon in the pocket.
Well, don't they both have analysis probes? A couple of well-place parentheses could divert them from their mission... and they can study each other's sturdiness..
No-one else seeing the potential for a Captain-Scarlet-and-the-Mysterons type scenario here?
What if it's not dead?
"Operator here, there's a caller with a tinny robotic voice asking you to accept reverse call charges."
And thank you to the "little rover that could"!