Sorta RIP Spirit

I have been remiss in not mentioning this news earlier. Sad news, sorta - NASA has given up on trying to extract Spirit. The rover has been stuck in the sand for some time due to a damaged wheel and bad luck, and the engineers have made many attempts to get her out, to no avail. So now she sits, watching and sending back data, which, over time, is bound to be of less and less value. Inevitably the omnipresent Martian dust will envelop Spirit's solar panels, her batteries will drain, and one day, she just won't wake up.

But like with most lives, Spirit's has been remarkable. Both the rovers on Mars have produced incredible data, and have far, far, far surpassed any and all goals for the project. The relatively paltry money spent on this mission (I think around 250 Million) must be the best "bang for the buck" NASA has ever achieved.

The picture above shows Spirit's damaged wheel making heavy drag marks through the sand, revealing the presence of almost pure Silica. On earth, Silica is only formed in the presence of water, proving once again that some time in the past, water flowed freely on the Martian surface. 

And might do so once again.

If we ever live the dream and actually move off Earth, I hope future Human-Martians build a memorial to the two rovers who accomplished so much.

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