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Space & Astronomy

NASA marks Spirit rover's 6th year on Mars

By T.K. Randall
January 4, 2010 · Comment icon 11 comments



Image Credit: NASA
It's 6 years since NASA's Spirit rover arrived on Mars but having spent the last 9 months stuck in sand its future is looking bleak.
There's no ignoring the fact that Spirit's twin rover Opportunity has had a lot more luck over the years and now it seems that its time may be running out. Spirit has been stuck in sand for the last nine months and with only four working wheels left NASA have been unable to free it.

Unless the solar panels can be turned to face the sun the rover may not have enough energy to survive the upcoming Martian winter.
Spirit has relayed data back to earth that has given scientists with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration an unprecedented view of Mars history. Spirit found evidence of a hot and steamy environment ages ago, while its twin, Opportunity, found data supporting a wet and acidic past on the other side of the planet.


Source: UPI | Comments (11)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by danielost 13 years ago
A phenomenal legacy for the folks at NASA / JPL. That thing is amazing. The engineering and perfomance is utterly stellar. We see this sort of thing time and time again. Kudos to the entire team responsible. but it was a total waste of money think, how did that go, oh yea think of how many countries could have become first world nations on it.
Comment icon #3 Posted by MID 13 years ago
but it was a total waste of money think, how did that go, oh yea think of how many countries could have become first world nations on it. Spirit has cost approximately 120 million dollars in toto to operate as it has for the past 6 years. How many countries do you think could've ascended to first world status, where annual budgets are measure in hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars....on 120 million, which is less than the annual sales volume of a mid-sized company???? Further, since when would it be the United States taxpayer's obligation to convert third world nations into indus... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by danielost 13 years ago
Spirit has cost approximately 120 million dollars in toto to operate as it has for the past 6 years. How many countries do you think could've ascended to first world status, where annual budgets are measure in hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars....on 120 million, which is less than the annual sales volume of a mid-sized company???? Further, since when would it be the United States taxpayer's obligation to convert third world nations into industrial powers??? none according to some on here it always has been i was being sarcastic
Comment icon #5 Posted by PotterManiac 13 years ago
LOS ANGELES Spirit has always been the unluckier of NASA's twin Mars rovers.Just weeks after landing in a Martian crater in 2004, it went haywire and transmitted gibberish to Earth. Engineers eventually nursed it back to health. As if the near-death experience wasn't enough, Spirit was upstaged early on by its twin Opportunity, which landed in a geologic gold mine and was the first to determine that the frigid, dusty planet possessed a wetter past. Bad luck has fallen again on Spirit. As the workhorse rover marks its sixth year on the red planet on Sunday, it finds itself stuck in a sand tra... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by DieChecker 13 years ago
I hope they do not give up on Spirit. 120 Million? Pennies compared to most National projects. Heck, building a bridge costs more then that. Sounds like a fantastic deal to me for 6 years of service.
Comment icon #7 Posted by MID 13 years ago
i was being sarcastic It was a little hard to tell from your statement, daniel...
Comment icon #8 Posted by MID 13 years ago
I hope they do not give up on Spirit. 120 Million? Pennies compared to most National projects. Heck, building a bridge costs more then that. Sounds like a fantastic deal to me for 6 years of service. I'd say a fantastic deal is an understatement...!
Comment icon #9 Posted by DONTEATUS 13 years ago
Second the motion ! We need more just Like Spirit and the People that make it Happen!
Comment icon #10 Posted by Hazzard 13 years ago
Second the motion ! We need more just Like Spirit and the People that make it Happen! Absolutely, D. All this space-exploration is taking too long. Thinking back, I "knew" we would have bases on the moon, and Mars by 2010. Never the less,... The stuff that they are doing is absolutely incredible. Im thinking of Apollo, Hubble, ISS, Cassini/Huygens, the two Rovers, Deep impact, etc... Just imagine if we trippled the effort!!
Comment icon #11 Posted by DONTEATUS 13 years ago
WE may be past Just Imagination`s Now Its time for Actions! Write your Congressman and Shout out We Need Exploration At All cost!


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