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Goodnight Sweet Lander
November 10, 2008 5:57 PM   Subscribe

Phoenix Mars Lander: This is My Farewell Transmission From Mars.
posted by homunculus (52 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
*sniff*
posted by Floydd at 6:01 PM on November 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


So Long And Thanks For All The Grit.
posted by Balisong at 6:02 PM on November 10, 2008


No one can wish for more in life than to be truly useful.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:06 PM on November 10, 2008


Can't we do some Michael Bay-esque high risk rescue mission for the little guy?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:11 PM on November 10, 2008


What's amazing is that the two rovers are still operating. They were designed for 3 month missions, and they're approaching 4 years. That is good design!
posted by Class Goat at 6:12 PM on November 10, 2008


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posted by heeeraldo at 6:12 PM on November 10, 2008


Ok, the second link is extremely well written. It nearly made me cry (you know, if I was the sort to do those kind of things). I just read this info on CNN. Would link, but can't find the article.

I love when my tax dollars feel well spent. At least we hit it this time. And no, jessamyn, this doesn't reset your name change.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:12 PM on November 10, 2008


There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering kaboom.
posted by DU at 6:13 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't mind dying under layers of martian snow. As far as deaths go, that would be pretty spectacular.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:16 PM on November 10, 2008


Still alive!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:17 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


NO DISASSEMBLE
posted by DU at 6:20 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:22 PM on November 10, 2008 [6 favorites]


Other Phoenix quits.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:26 PM on November 10, 2008


Sounds like there is still an outside chance they re-establish contact in the spring; here's hoping.
posted by Mitheral at 6:41 PM on November 10, 2008


I can't wait for Pho'nX to return to earth as a super-sentient space cloud and destroy us all.

* crosses fingers *
posted by blue_beetle at 6:45 PM on November 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


.
posted by vibrotronica at 6:55 PM on November 10, 2008


Someday the content of the second link will in fact be composed by the robot in question. THAT will be the future, Wintermute-style.
posted by troy at 7:06 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


/x.x\
posted by salishsea at 7:09 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All these moments will be lost in time like tears in rain...time to die.
posted by kcds at 7:15 PM on November 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


.
posted by jepler at 7:16 PM on November 10, 2008


I've been following Mars Phoenix on twitter since they started with that, and it's always been the best use of 140 characters on the service. I've come to think of MP as a giant Wall-E with an oven and a shovel, and that makes it 110% harder to know that we're not going to be seeing transmissions from the little guy (written by a very articulate girl, it seems, so yay!) on a regular basis anymore. Godspeed little robot. Maybe you will wake up in the Martian Spring.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:17 PM on November 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


Medieval Maven you said exactly what I was going to say.
Also when I read this tweet, I actually kinda teared up a lil.

"MarsPhoenix: I should stay well-preserved in this cold. I'll be humankind's monument here for centuries, eons, until future explorers come for me ;-) 4:57 AM Oct 30th"
posted by ShawnString at 7:21 PM on November 10, 2008


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.

I believe.
posted by homunculus at 7:28 PM on November 10, 2008


.

(my first dot)
posted by cjorgensen at 7:35 PM on November 10, 2008


At least we hit it this time. And no, jessamyn, this doesn't reset your name change.

I duno.. The current cite is pretty weak.
posted by Chuckles at 8:00 PM on November 10, 2008


Poor Phoenix!

And what a place to pass away on. I remember seeing photos of the surface of Mars for the first time, and getting this kind of weird uncanny valley creeped-out-ness about the place. It still gives me chills to look at those 20MB hi-res photos on NASA's site.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:21 PM on November 10, 2008


Good soldier.
posted by PenDevil at 8:41 PM on November 10, 2008


(my first dot)
posted by cjorgensen


If it's your first time, I think it's called, "Getting your Period."
posted by Balisong at 8:50 PM on November 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


Fairly articulate little feller. I liked the reference -- I think the young people today say "shout-out" -- to Spirit and Opportunity, still going strong. Despite a long history of failures, I think NASA had a couple of home runs with these. (In fact, I understand one of the main challenges for Mars rovers is navigating around the wreckage of previous failed Mars missions.)

I've been following Phoenix's story as much as possible. I find Mars missions awesome on general principle. Maybe it was seeing Capricorn One at an impressionable age... I think one of the things that would most surprise any of the golden age sf writers who did not make it to this century (Asimov, Heinlein, et al.) is that by 2001 we would have a science fiction TV show which every week in the opening credits had footage shot on another planet and no one found it all that unusual.

Anyway, fare thee well, Phoenix. We hardly knew ye.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:57 PM on November 10, 2008


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posted by dirigibleman at 9:01 PM on November 10, 2008


So reading a post a couple of days ago, I'm feeling for Chilly Willy in his struggles to keep from freezing to death - now I find out that the Phoenix Lander is.... I think I am going to cry. I'll be back in a bit....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:14 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Rest in peace brave Phoenix. May you rise again from your ashes.

A Eulogy for the Phoenix

In great red plains
embalmed in dust
the phoenix sighs
submits to rust

Dreams pass bye
on tenuous breeze
and no footstep stirs
the missing trees.

The phoenix sleeps
eons will pass
before children play
on the Martian grass.

Then the phoenix
will breath its last
and sink into the
infinite past.


Is there any chance that the lander will still be operational after the Martian winter? It doesn't seem like either article addresses that possibility, and yet both rovers have survived at least one winter. Perhaps we will meet again?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 10:29 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


(I just finished watching "the Return of the King" extended edition, so sorry if I'm a mite melodramatic right now)

PS: And I just realized the winter will be harsher for Phoenix since it landed so far north, so it won't be comparable to the rovers jaunting around in the tropical winter.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 10:34 PM on November 10, 2008


There goes one of my favorite twitterers. Fare thee well, little buddy.

.
posted by brundlefly at 11:29 PM on November 10, 2008


farewell, scoopy.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:34 AM on November 11, 2008


Following Mars Phoenix on Twitter will be one of the things I remember about 2008.

.
posted by sveskemus at 1:55 AM on November 11, 2008


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posted by Skorgu at 2:34 AM on November 11, 2008


Is there a Turing grief test?
posted by archaic at 4:08 AM on November 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I didn't realize that robot could hum like Pink Floyd.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:27 AM on November 11, 2008


010100110110110001100101011001010111000001110111011001010110110001101100
posted by elfgirl at 5:27 AM on November 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by Librarygeek at 5:30 AM on November 11, 2008


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posted by bouvin at 7:00 AM on November 11, 2008


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posted by immlass at 7:37 AM on November 11, 2008


awww ... Bravo Zulu, little guy.
posted by Quietgal at 8:44 AM on November 11, 2008


I just read some Twitter excerpts elsewhere, and damned if I didn't tear up a little. And I didn't even see Wall-E.
posted by maudlin at 8:53 AM on November 11, 2008


I had the opportunity to speak with the person who's been ghost-writing for the MarsPhoenix all along, when I wrote up this story last week for the newspaper that runs my work. I can report that she's every bit as delightful as you might expect. Mars probes come and go, but few achieve the level of pathos required to - for instance - get a proper obit thread.

I recorded our conversation and edited into a podcast, in which she fills in some of the story behind the lander's PR coup. I think it's interesting stuff, and it might be of interest to MarsPheonix fans, so I'm going to risk the wrath of the local gods, cross my fingers, and post a self-link to the sound file here.
posted by bicyclefish at 8:57 AM on November 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


That's awesome, bicyclefish. I'm listening to the interview now and liking it a lot.
posted by sveskemus at 9:09 AM on November 11, 2008


In happier space news: Cassini Finds Mysterious New Aurora on Saturn
posted by homunculus at 12:19 PM on November 13, 2008


Mars Rover Spirit Still Alive
posted by homunculus at 2:54 PM on November 14, 2008


30 Mars Phoenix Discoveries NASA Will Never Show the World
posted by homunculus at 2:15 PM on November 18, 2008


Visions of Mars
posted by homunculus at 2:02 PM on November 20, 2008


Huge Buried Water Glaciers Discovered on Mars
posted by homunculus at 2:03 PM on November 20, 2008


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