back to article Ode to the Phoenix Mars Lander

ollow the water' they told you, and rocketed you out there alone. 'You'll comb the terrain, for snow, ice, or rain, and we'll grock what you see back at home.' More than seven-score days since they sent you, shoveling months in dark, frigid cold. Yet true to your name, the Phoenix's flame burned far longer than NASA …


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  1. Sam

    short version

    You landed somewhere red,

    And now you're fucking dead.

  2. Data Odyssey

    There's a musical hit in there somewhere.....

    That was very sad and touching.

    Surely, someone out there can write some really haunting and sad "tear-jerker" music to go with those words, something powerful enough to reduce every geek on the planet, from here to Timbuktoo to floods of tears. Go on, you know you want to.

    BTW, never say die, the Phoenix might live up to its name, confound us all and come back to life when the Sun returns. The tune of the moment will then be "Here comes the Sun....."

    Till then,

    Adios Phoenix Mars Lander!

    Data Odyssey

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Tugging the heart strings

    Stop trying to get me all sentimental about a broken piece of machinery.

    It's not like they sent Johnny 5 up there to do their work for them!

    <Remembers Short Circuit> *sniffle*

    You bastards, now I'm all misty eyed!

  4. Steve Mason
    Thumb Up


    kinda sweet

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Its grok, not grock

    <sighs and goes for his cold dusty coat>

  6. Seán



  7. Anton Ivanov

    It ghas grocked the wholeness of Mars

    Pity the marsians did not share their water with it.

  8. Andy Worth


    Deactivated you stand

    Shut down by our martian overlords

    I for one

    Welcome them

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually I quite liked it

    I thought that some of the metaphysical imagery was really particularly effective, and it employs interesting rhythmic devices too which seemed to counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor of the humanity of the poet's compassionate soul which contrives through the medium of the verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that, and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the other, and one is left with a profound and vivid insight into whatever it was the poem was about.

    If you'll excuse me, I've got all shooting pains in my left arm.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    You wot?

    (Reaches for shovel)

  11. Paul Murphy
    Thumb Up

    And when (if) we follow you,

    As we leave our world behind,

    We will be in your shoes,

    Maybe, if you don't mind,

    our children will touch and wonder at you.


  12. Simon


    Martian: 'Ello NASA, I wish to make a complaint about this lander I purchased only a few months ago.

    NASA: Oh yes, the, uh, the Phoenix...What's,uh...What's wrong with it?

    Martian: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

    NASA: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.

    Martian: Look, matey, I know a dead lander when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

    NASA: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable lander, the Phoenix, idn'it, ay? Beautiful payloads!

    Martian: The payload don't enter into it. It's stone dead.

    NASA: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!

    Martian: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up!

    Martian: 'Ello, Mister Phoenix lander! I've got a lovely fresh lifeform for you...

    and so on and so forth!!

    Mine's the one thats looks like a straight jacket...

  13. bigolslabomeat

    Best twitterer ever

    I loved Phoenix's tweets and managed to get all sentimental about a chunk of metal on a distant rock. Whoever was responsible for writing them deserves a promotion!

    Phoenix, you will be missed, let's hope you can boot up again when the summer comes around somewhere in Sol 2010.

  14. TeeCee Gold badge

    Pithy version.

    We liked the science while you lasted.

    Then you failed, you useless bastard.

  15. Lloyd


    Does no one remember vger? You mark my words we'll be seeing a revamped fully weaponed phoenix lander courtesy of it's martian overlords any time now.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @Actually I quite liked it

    "Counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor"? Death's too good for you!

  17. Alastair Blakey

    ODE to Mars Lander

    Once upon a planet dreary,

    came a Martian lander cheery,

    Did life arise spontaneous?

    Or some alien source extraneous?

    seed the globe that now containeth us?

    quoth the lander; "either, or"


    Originally from Analog Science Fiction, sometime around 1978..

  18. Luther Blissett

    Even shorter version (for UK sale only)

    Farewell, then, Phoe.

    You were always nix at the end.

    E.J.Thribb (age 8,5)

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