Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Mars NASA Space Science

Mars Rover Spirit May Never Wake From Deep Sleep 155

Posted by Soulskill
from the borrow-my-alarm-clock,-that'll-do-it dept.
astroengine writes "After repeated calls from NASA to wake up Mars Exploration Rover Spirit from its low-energy hibernation mode, mission control is beginning to realize the ill-fated robot may never wake up again. After getting stuck in a sand trap in Gusev Crater and then switching into hibernation in March, rover operators were hopeful that the beached Spirit might yet be saved. Alas, this is looking more and more unlikely. In a statement, NASA said: 'Based on models of Mars' weather and its effect on available power, mission managers believe that if Spirit responds, it most likely will be in the next few months. However, there is a very distinct possibility Spirit may never respond.'" Related xkcd strip, in case the headline wasn't anthropomorphic enough for you.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mars Rover Spirit May Never Wake From Deep Sleep

Comments Filter:
  • RIP little buddy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, 2010 @01:39PM (#33096320)

    Sad that people are taking so little notice. The two rovers may be the greatest achievement of mankind to date. Lasting this long is beyond heroic. They may be robots but they have both shown a stubborn determination that is impressive for man or machine. He'll be missed and I think we all wish his brother well. They'll be decades going over the data generated but the two lonely robots, one now apparently sleeping for all time.

  • by sphealey (2855) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @01:44PM (#33096346)

    > "After repeated calls from NASA to wake up Mars Exploration Rover
    > Spirit from its low-energy hibernation mode, mission control is beginning
    > to realize the ill-fated robot may never wake up again.

    I would wish to have such ill-fate as exceeding my predicted lifetime by a factor of 10x and accomplishing 20x more than believed possible within that lifetime.

    sPh

  • by kamukwam (652361) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @01:47PM (#33096370) Journal
    I guess that is the way to create a success-story. Just have very low expectations and it will always exceed expectations. I don't know if NASA did it on purpose, but it has played out very well, these robots.
  • "ill-fated?" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joehonkie (665142) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @01:54PM (#33096404) Homepage
    I don't think "ill-fated" is a term you would use for something that performed far beyond expectations.
  • Re:Awwwww... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @02:00PM (#33096438)

    For that reason, one of the best XKCD strips ever. Not every comic is gold, but this one is pure gold on a number of levels.

  • Die in my sleep (Score:3, Insightful)

    by countertrolling (1585477) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @02:05PM (#33096456) Journal

    Can't think of a better way to go...

    R.I.P.

  • Human nature (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PinkyGigglebrain (730753) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @02:06PM (#33096466)
    I was involved with this project when the rovers where still being built. When you build or are otherwise involved in something you really believe in like this you can't help anthropomorphizing them.

    To most its just a machine, a worthless hunk of metal, but to those who put there hearts and souls into this program those rovers are almost as precious as children. Its part of human nature to imbue objects with an identity, a soul, just look at how people treat cars, plans, boats, etc..

    Sprite and Opportunity carried more than just a bunch of electronics to Mars, they carried the dreams and hopes of all those who choose join it in its journey.

    To those, like myself, who consider the rovers to be more than the sum of their parts it will be a very sad day when Sprite is officially listed as dead. And to those who would laugh at us because they can't care for anything beyond themselves or limit their love to only humans, I pity you.
  • by oddaddresstrap (702574) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @03:11PM (#33096874)

    If only all NASA missions were this successful
    If they were all successful, it would mean we weren't pushing the envelope, weren't making mistakes and weren't learning from them.

  • by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <litheran@PASCALgmail.com minus language> on Saturday July 31, 2010 @04:06PM (#33097210)

    Wish I could mod you up 10 times.

    The majority of people haven't got the slightest idea that A: these robots even exist and B: even if they do what kind of achievement it is.
    The scale and precision of this operation is mindboggling.

    The distances, the numerous variables and sensitivities involved is something that I, as just a layman, can't even begin to comprehend.

    But I can sit back, read and watch about it and for once be proud of the human race. Be in awe what good and positive things, however hard they might be, we as humans can accomplish if we really set our minds to it.

  • Re:Awwwww... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by v1 (525388) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @04:15PM (#33097276) Homepage Journal

    I hope one day someone can go rescue all these poor little waifs

    Wasn't it in Total Recall where one of the shots zoomed past one of the rovers on Mars on its way to zoom in on one of the complexes there... complete with a plaque or something beside it?

    I'd think if we ever were going to go to mars and bring back samples etc, that thing deserves some space in the trunk. I'd love to see it in a museum here, it's so much more than just history.

  • by khallow (566160) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @07:34PM (#33098342)

    Sad that people are taking so little notice. The two rovers may be the greatest achievement of mankind to date. Lasting this long is beyond heroic. They may be robots but they have both shown a stubborn determination that is impressive for man or machine. He'll be missed and I think we all wish his brother well. They'll be decades going over the data generated but the two lonely robots, one now apparently sleeping for all time.

    If we restrict our attention to space matters, the Apollo program was a greater achievement. If we don't restrict our attention at all, then there are a vast number of greater achievements, for example, the creation of the US university system or modern public sanitation. Also the attention the rovers receive is quite adequate. For example, there are a large number of stories on Slashdot about them.

    I'm being a killjoy here because I think we need to keep things in context. The MER project has been very popular and performed well above official expectations. However, it's worth remembering that we have in the past done a lot more. It doesn't have to be manned exploration, but there's a lot more that humanity could be doing with respect to Mars than token science missions every couple of years.

  • by tkdog (889567) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @07:38PM (#33098366) Journal
    Yeah, "ill fated" indeed. How about "amazingly resilient and long lived" instead? These two missions have been amazing, lasting well beyond what they could have possibly hoped for at launch.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2010 @12:12AM (#33099374)

    "The majority of people haven't got the slightest idea that A: these robots even exist and B: even if they do what kind of achievement it is."

    I wouldn't have believed that a couple of months ago, but I recently went back home to visit family and attend a high school reunion. When people asked where I was working I would tell them the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, feeling that just saying JPL would be a little presumptuous. Quite often I would get a blank look even at that. Then I'd say "NASA," which seemed to help. Then I'd say that probably our most well known mission would be the two rovers we currently have on Mars. More blank looks.

    Not that I blame them. It's just that I overestimated the popular knowledge factor of the rovers.

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.

Working...