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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:07 AM
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Stuck Mars Rover About to Die?
Built to rove for 90 days, Spirit has lasted six years on Mars. But now it's stuck and may lose power by May. Even standing still, though, Spirit can do a surprising amount of science, NASA says.

NASAs Mars rover Spirit passed its six-year anniversary January 3rd, but the upcoming Mars winter may spell the end for the all-terrain vehicle.

Last year, Spirits wheels broke through a crusty Mars surface layer and became trapped in the loose sand hidden underneath. Here, a NASA scale model mockup is seen trying to maneuver out of the predicament.

Latest attempts to recover the real rover have resulted in it sinking deeper in the Martian soil.

Spirits twin rover, Opportunity, landed on the opposite side of Mars 3 weeks after Spirit, and is still able to rove across the planets surface. The two rovers combined have traveled more than 16 miles, sending back photos and lots of data about the planet.

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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 02:30 AM
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1. It's weird, but that makes me kinda sad
That rover's been almost like a person. :cry:
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 08:43 PM
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3. me too. its such a cute little thing, cute tires and such. I loved watching
it move around and keep going past its time. :(
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 11:25 AM
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2. Well who knows.
They've thought it would die before and it survived. I hope everyone here saw the documentary about Spirit and Opportunity. I am convinced they are maybe one of the most impressive technical achievements ever....
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freethought Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-27-10 01:19 PM
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4. Even if it does die, Spirit made history!
NASA and JPL received more out of Spirit than they even thought remotely possible. What was thought to end in 90 days has lasted six years and provided gobs of data that science will stew over for years to come. It gave them more that they possibly asked for. Spirit has been,IMHO, one really serious "little trooper" or "the little rover that could, did, and then did more". As an American I would rather have my country recognized for feats such as this rather than any number of things I could think off.
Should this be the end of Spirit, we should give it a fine salute for performing above the "Call of Duty", if there is such a thing for a machine millions of miles away on another planet.
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