Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NASA Places the Mars Rover Spirit on the Inactive List

After a year of no response to NASA queries, the Spirit Rover has been designated inactive and NASA will cease trying to signal the rover.

From the Gizmodo article:
  • Spirit has been incommunicado for more than a year despite daily calls by NASA. The cause of Spirit's silence ... is (very) likely the bitter Martian winter (which most likely) damaged its electronics, preventing the .... rover from waking up.
Spirit became immobile January 26th, 2213 days into its mission but continued to operate as a stationary platform for months afterwards until it finally succumbed to the cold and dust.

Wiki on Spirit Rover

Complete Gizmodo article

cartoon by Nitesh


Dave Tackett said...

What a phenomenal success story Spirit was, though. I can't feel too sad about it finally coming to an end after completing its mission more than twenty times over. And after all nothing lasts forever, except perhaps Opportunity :-)

It's amazing to think that these two rovers lasted so long that another successful Mars mission (Phoenix) was started and completed while both Spirit and Opportunity were operating. And it won't be too surprising if Opportunity is around when the Mars Science Laboratory lands.

Beam Me Up said...

Quite a pair of machines for sure. The Mars rover crew should be very proud of their accomplishments. I know we all risk anthropomorphizing them, but they do get under your skin. I know it isn't just the lay people doing it either, I have heard NASA controllers referring to the rovers as she and he. Its damn infectious!

Homer said...

Just keep Opportunity 'between the ditches' and that little buggy may last forever!! Like you said about anthropomorphizing them, I get a feeling of sorrow thinking about little Spirit all alone on that planet with no one to talk to. OK - back to this world.....:^)

Beam Me Up said...

Homer, I think the longer the stalwart machines continue to operate the more we begin to identify with them. Spirit's passing touched those that followed it's phenomenal success were touch on more than just an intellectual level.