Farewell Spirit

Farewell Spirit

NASA is giving up on trying to communicate with its Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit. The beloved robot was last heard from on March 22, 2010.

Spirit is one of two MERs that landed on Mars in 2004. Its sister, Opportunity, continues to explore the Martian surface.

Spirit got stuck in a sand trap when one of its wheels stopped working and stranded it in a position where its solar panels could not be recharged from the Sun. Essentially it froze to death.

“With inadequate energy to run its survival heaters, the rover likely experienced colder internal temperatures last year than in any of its prior six years on Mars. Many critical components would have been susceptible to damage from the cold,” NASA said in a press release.

The mission was designed to last three months on Mars and thus vastly exceeded its design lifetime.

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