r.i.p. spirit

"Spirit is not dead; it has just entered another phase of its long life..."

-Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.



surpassing it's original 90 day mission which began in 2004, spirit [along with it's counterpart opportunity] has been roving around mars for 6 years now. last month however, spirit's wheels became embedded in sand and scientists determined he [is he a HE? i assume he is] would no longer be mobile. additionally, as mars is heading into winter, the angle at which spirit is now stuck prevents him from gathering the solar energy he will need to continue to function normally. so he will essentially have to go into a sort of hibernation for the winter, perhaps resuming eventually to gather stationary data.

these photos are actual martian landscapes snapped by spirit. spirit himself has been digitally comped in by nasa to represent what he most likely looked liked when they were taken.

i don't know, maybe i've watched wall-e a few too many times. but this little guy seems so cute. and he worked so hard for so long. it seems quite sad to just leave him out there all alone for the long cold martian winter.


photos from jpl