back to article Is it all over for Mars Rover?

NASA is warning that we might have heard the last message from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit because it might not survive the Martian winter. The Spirit Rover hasn't been heard from since 22 March. The team expected it to go into hibernation mode because the low angle of the sun and the Rover's position make its solar …


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  1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Easy solution

    They should send somebody with a brush to wipe the solar panels clean and put some oil in the wheels bearings. Oh and while the cleaner is there ask him to pick up some samples of the "blueberries" and stuff, so that we could get at least some hard data about the surface rather than continue relying on pictures and guesswork...

  2. Ian K

    Any mention of Spirit...

    ...pretty much requires a link to this:

    It's the law.

    1. Samo

      Very true

      Damn damn damn damn damn you beat me to it! I have the link copied and everything!

      Heart, because I loved the comic

  3. AJ01


    Can Anyone tell me why they have not put a microphone on any of the landers? Seeing is believeing but sound would add a fair bit of depth.

    1. Michael 82
      Thumb Up


      They probably have but *they* do not want you to hear the martians talking!

      *MJ12, NASA, insert name of alien race here, etc etc

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Miek

    Why the title is required, and why it must contain letters and/or digits?

    We are now collecting old clothes and blankets to send as aid to the poor rover for it's sterling service.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Why the title is required, and why it must contain letters and/or digits?

      Hey, has anyone got a pertinent xkcd link? I for one would like to see one.

      1. Adam Foxton
        IT Angle

        You think that's bad?

        Just wait until there's a story about room-sized plastic ballpools. You'll have XKCD links AND people saying "Where's the IT angle" to deal with!

        1. Blain Hamon
          Thumb Up

          That would be awesome, actually.

          I so want to see a story about room-sized plastic ballpools. 10 to 1 odds Google already has one hidden in their complex already.

  6. Daniel Wilkie


    I'm assuming you wouldn't receive much as the atmosphere is so thin?

    Same reasont here's no point taking a microphone to the moon.

  7. Tom Paine

    NASA PR fail

    This is just a bad bit of NASA PR. When Spirit went into low-power hibernation mode before the winter solstice it was well-prepared for; the engineering team; it's not expected to have enough power to get through it's boot cycle and start transmitting the "here I am" beacon for at least another month. TPS' own Emily Lakdawalla put it well:

    PS Vladimir -- it may surprise you to learn that the MERs *DO* in fact carry other instruments apart from the cameras, in particular a Mossbauer Spectrometer and an Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer, both of which provide plenty of the "hard evidence" you demand.

    Erik -- you're not even wrong.

  8. Tom Paine


    PS AJ01 <blockquote>Can Anyone tell me why they have not put a microphone on any of the landers? Seeing is believeing but sound would add a fair bit of depth.</blockquote>

    (1) there's nothing to hear. The atmosphere is about as thin as earth's is at 100,000'.

    (2) for every instrument you add, another one has to come off. What would you trade audio sensors for -- the APXS? navcams? pancams? MI?

  9. ian 22

    Done Roving

    Spirit will never rove again on the bonny bonny banks of..... Oh wait.

    Even if she responds to NASA's "Good Morning", she's stationary forever more. Well done, regardless.

  10. Paul RND*1000

    Is it wrong for me... feel a little bit like crying just now?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Powered by IBM Power processor

    Great story for IBM's Power technology.....the rover was supposed to be dead years ago

  12. Morpho Devilpepper

    Say hi to Major Tom if you see him...

    NASA: "Spirit this is a radio check, acknowledge if able, over."


  13. Fatman

    Is it over for the Mars rover?

    Only time will tell.

    However, one must recognize that part of this condition is due to the use of solar power for the rover. The backwards tilt of the rover did not help things either. Had NASA used an RTG, things may not have been so bleak.

    In case you do not know what an RTG is:

  14. Kelvari
    Dead Vulture

    There may yet be hope...

    After all, the Martian Solstice is still some time away. Should Spirit not reply, though, then I am sure that March 22 will be a day remembered by all space enthusiasts - maybe with enough petitioning, we can get a global Holiday: Martian Spirit Day!

    Perhaps, one day, when man does finally set foot on the surface of Mars, they will find Spirit, and build a shrine to the little rover for going far above and beyond the call of duty.

    Tombstone for the dying batteries - but undying spirit - of Spirit.

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