May 1 2011, 09:20 PM
There is only so much that can be done from down here, and the countdown to the end of mission for Spirit has quietly, unofficially begun behind the scenes. Word is that NASA headquarters is preparing to announce that MER will continue as a one-rover mission around the first of June.
JPL's crew will continue the current recovery operations, which take place several times a day, through May 25th, informed Nelson. Following that, "greatly reduced recovery operations" -- averaging one effort each week -- will continue through the end of the year.
May 24 2011, 06:38 PM
BUT important to wait for official word from the Powers That Be. These things are often the result of games of Chinese Whispers gone crazy.
May 24 2011, 07:05 PM
From the NASA TV schedule:
May 31, Tuesday
2:30 p.m. - NASA Science Briefing: Mars Spirit Rover Celebration: An End to a New Beginning - HQ (Public and Media Channels)
May 24 2011, 08:09 PM
Well spotted, Fred.
May 24 2011, 08:19 PM
Guys, gather around, the day we expected to happen 90 sols after landing has arrived.
I will never forget Spirit and her journey, our brave gal, I will tell her story for generations to come.
So many years of quest, stories, legends, adventures, mountains, anxiety, utter joy, I am lacking words here.
Love you Spirit, forever. You have a VERY special place in my life. Farewell.
Hug you all UMSFers. And to the team...thank you for the adventure of a lifetime.http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_...EMPLATE=DEFAULT
May 24 2011, 09:46 PM
Very sad day, but probably the kindest thing to do. All journeys, all adventures, all dreams must eventually come to an end.
Wouldn't it be just like Spirit, drama queen to the last, to phone home in reply to tomorrow's "last chance" hail?
But... well... a few words, just 'cos I feel moved to.http://twitpic.com/522gbs
May 24 2011, 09:50 PM
Spirit's gone for us,, but the weird thing is..in the distant distant future someone could easily get her roving and taking pictures again.
May 24 2011, 10:03 PM
Great poem, Stu. There's nothing more I can add to your beautiful writing...it's just right.Requiem in pace
, brave little friend & pioneer.
May 24 2011, 10:09 PM
There's an audio discussion on right now about Spirit.http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/newsaudio/index.html
Callas just said that: 'Last commands will be sent to Spirit (tonight) 0700UTC'.
May 24 2011, 10:56 PM
"All journeys, all adventures, all dreams must eventually come to an end."
If I have learned anything from this site and all of you, dreams never have to end.
May 24 2011, 11:28 PM
I've been pondering the words that best describe what's happened.
Spirit is just a robot. A bunch of thinking metal sent from Earth (as Scott would say).
The adventure, the personality, the achievements - they are because of the team of scientists and engineers who designed, built, tested, launch, landed and drove her. She is their avatar.
Every image she ever took. Every cm she ever drove. Every RAT brush, grind, APXS or Mossbauer integration. Every scuff, turn, bump, beep and approach. They were all the result of a carefully crafted set of instructions running on a carefully crafted spacecraft built onthis rock and then sent to that rock.
So yes - our little robot has gone silent. But what made her, the essence of what she is.....is still right here on this rock, driving Opportunity, testing Curiosity, or analyzing spectra from 6 years of Gusev exploration.
She didn't die. She just moved on.
May 24 2011, 11:39 PM
What happened to the "try to communicate once a week until the end of calendar year" plan?
May 24 2011, 11:40 PM
After review, it was decided that the likelihood of that being successful wasn't sufficiently high to keep asking for time on the assets required.
May 24 2011, 11:49 PM
Rest well, Spirit. One day, we'll come visit you in person!
May 24 2011, 11:57 PM
May 25 2011, 01:06 AM
We'll be seeing it again some day, not to worry, but it might be a long wait...
May 25 2011, 01:07 AM
... perchance to dream.... Sleep well my sweet Spirit.
My right hand side is with Doug and I salute all those who crafted this fantastic adventure, but with my left I wave a fond farewell to our girl.
May 25 2011, 03:08 AM
Thank you to all the wonderful people at JPL who made this mission possible and to all the great folks on this board who walked with Spirit every step of the way.
May 25 2011, 03:11 AM
"We drove ...until the wheels came off "
Huge congrats to all the team, what a trip!
May 25 2011, 04:21 AM
The May 31st announcement is now gone from the NASA TV schedule
. Maybe they posted that before they indended?
May 25 2011, 06:19 AM
May 25 2011, 07:00 AM
Farewell little robot. You brought anxiety, joy and wonder. But never did we expect to grow this old with you.
May 25 2011, 09:36 AM
Farewell Spirit and thank you.
May 25 2011, 11:31 AM
May 25 2011, 11:35 AM
Curiosity must be thinking "Great. How am I suppose to follow an act like that?"
Goodbye little brother.
May 25 2011, 12:50 PM
I have been absent for so long, mainly due to sparse free time, but I had to come back to say goodbye to my old pal, Spirit.
We had such wonderful time together, climbing hills and observing abysses, I 'll miss you friend.
It may take several hundred years, but I am sure some time a human hand will tap your panels and say thanks from all of us. Farewell.
May 25 2011, 01:16 PM
Rest in Peace old friend.
May 25 2011, 01:31 PM
Best not ponder the fact that Spirit seemed to be within a week or two of wriggling her way out of that Scamander sandtrap. In the end it was not to be.
The torch is passed; within a year or so we should have some new company for Opportunity out there on that lonely red planet.
May 25 2011, 01:48 PM
Unlurking to say goodbye...
But... what a ride!
May 25 2011, 01:53 PM
Thank you for the ride little old Lady. Among your achievments you helped uniting all of us here at UMSF.
May 25 2011, 02:26 PM
Thank you Steve, for giving us the chance to walk next to Spirit during her journey.
Dammit, now I'm going to be a blubbering fool all morning.
May 25 2011, 03:29 PM
The day has finally come. I always said I wouldn't consider Spirit dead until Mr. Squyres said she was gone. I guess the time is now.
Good job little friend, you did better than anyone would have thought. 90 days!? HA! That will show them.
Sister Oppy will continue your journey running across he plains of Meridiani! Go Oppy Go!
We'll miss you little Spirit - thank you!
May 25 2011, 05:34 PM
Recent MRO image of Spirit. http://www.uahirise.org/ESP_021925_1650
It seems the arrays aren't prohibitively dirty.
May 25 2011, 05:50 PM
Today also marks the 3-year anniversary of Phoenix's landing on Mars
May 25 2011, 07:28 PM
SPIRIT... what a trek you gave us, little friend. I remember when they named you. How abt tthe name. How glorous the journey.
You are our avatar. A machine made from love and deep skill. A machine like you is more than the sum of it's parts. A soul is born, a unique soul. From the team. The engineers and scientists and managers that made you a whole.
Some distant future.... perhaps in the later years of my grandsons... humans from Earth will find and finally free you.
Til then, rest well.
Love from yout friend, Craig.
May 25 2011, 07:57 PM
Spirit... made it to the hilltop, and
showed us what was on the other side.
Thanks and congratulations to all the engineers and scientists who put her together and made her run.
Thanks and congratulations to every technician who wrapped a cable or tightened a screw. Just. Right.
They really did hit a home run! Click to view attachment
Spirit touches Home. (From Hungry4info's link)
May 25 2011, 08:22 PM
my own meager tribute to my favourite martian using what I think is the best image ever returned from Mars.http://sometimesacritic.files.wordpress.co...1/05/spirit.jpg
May 25 2011, 08:27 PM
A lot of memories from this journey:
Those "faraway" hills, and then they were growing and growing on the images to finally become ground under the wheels.
Climbing day after day, to one day have an unforgettable 360 degrees view of the far horizon.
The "abyss". It finally was a dune field; but it was a lot of fun imagining caves or sink holes (thanks Ustrax / Rui).
Running to Home Plate. A feature that once was just a name on a picture taken from orbit but afterwards it was not only a place fully studied from left to right / north to south, but also was a place for a remarkable barbecue.
And I will have to repeat again what was already said on most of the posts on this threat, but it is just the truth: thanks for all the people working on the MER mission for this unforgettable experience!
May 25 2011, 08:28 PM
Spirit is Dead, Long Live Spirit!
May 25 2011, 08:54 PM
Thank you Spirit and MER team. It was one hell of a ride
And to refresh that amazing landing those many years ago:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWk-umZm86U
May 25 2011, 09:14 PM
So farewell, Spirit, *sniff*. It was a long interesting and exciting time. Thanks also to the Team for making this mission possible.
Also from me, thank you for the "Spirit" along all these years. I first noticed the MER mission on a television documentation in 2002, thats just about 9 years. and so its part of my life. And it is still a fascinating story with the best things just to come.
And to say it in the words of John Cleese:
"Spirit is no more! She has ceased to be! She's expired and gone to meet her maker! She kicked the bucket, hopped the twig, bit the dust. Bereft of life she rests in peace. This is an Ex-Rover". Bye, bye...
May 25 2011, 11:35 PM
An great NASA video here.
May 25 2011, 11:37 PM
Sleep well Spirit, and hold the fort for us! We are coming next!
Our descendants will no doubt dome your whole journey, from your lander to your Home sweet Home plate, turning it into the Spirit-Gusev Museum.
Good night little Martian.
May 25 2011, 11:37 PM
It is well worth going back and reading through the entire Spirit thread and all the topics and posts.
There are some great memories back there and in hindsight, some interesting comments.
I liked these:
May 26 2011, 02:13 AM
I can't tell you the chill down my spine I got reading this, I feel like I've lost a friend.
Is it ironic though that I don't really have any feelings for Oppy?
Its like all the hurdles that Spirit had made her all the more valuable.
May 26 2011, 03:06 AM
Spirit: you are born, you live, and you die, but the important thing is what you do inbetween.
May 26 2011, 07:40 AM
A glorious mission seems to have come to a close. In the annals of unmanned spaceflight the overland multi-year travels of Spirit and her sister, flung across the void to crawl the world next door, are almost without parallel. The numerous trials, tribulations and hard-fought successes of this machine made the urge to anthropomorphize her almost overwhelming, and with that has come a sense of loss at her passing. She may be dead but her scientific and exploratory achievements, which belong to all of those who had a hand in her story, will live on.
May 26 2011, 11:59 AM
The drive towards the Columbia Hills was one of the most exciting things I have seen, almost each day new details of the hills came into sight.
May 26 2011, 01:46 PM
"...the urge to anthropomorphize her almost overwhelming"."...Spirit: you are born, you live, and you die, but the important thing is what you do inbetween"
Since the end of Viking Lander I which was experienced as a sad event at JPL (we felt like we lost a companion), I decided for myself not to anthropomorphize the landers any more...
I think that the greatest achievements are the ones done by the PEOPLE operating and managing those planetary robots.
Here are the real stories to tell. They are filled up with lots of big deceptions, great achievements, sadnesses, joys, etc, etc...
The "heart" of Spirit lies within the engineers and scientists who devoted (sometimes a big) part of their LIVES to this outstanding mission.
May 26 2011, 02:36 PM
One of the great things that came from the Spirit/MER missions, was the unexpected crystallization of this UMSF community from the founding actions of one Doug Ellison. Bravo.
one mission ends - another begins
My thanks go out to all the people at JPL and their partners that pulled this off!
(BTW: I have a feeling that our great grand children will be able to see Spirit at the Smithsonian ...)
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