After exploring surface of Mars for about 7 years, Spirit has been officially declared dead for all scientific purposes. Spirit started it’s Martian journey on Jan 2004 to carry out it’s scientific mission which was supposed to last for 90 days. But Spirit surpassed all the expectations and continued exploring Mars for another seven years. It stopped communicating on Mar 2010 and attempts were being made by NASA to communicate with the rover. Finally, NASA concluded it’s attempts of contacting Spirit today.
“We’re now transitioning assets to support the November launch of our next generation Mars rover, Curiosity,” said Dave Lavery, NASA’s program executive for solar system exploration. “However, while we no longer believe there is a realistic probability of hearing from Spirit, the Deep Space Network may occasionally listen for any faint signals when the schedule permits.” [NASA]
Great job Spirit! Here is xkcd’s take on spirited Martian journey of our beloved scientific instrument:
Image credit: 1) Artist concept of Mars rover| NASA/JPL/Cornell Univ 2)Xkcd