So I was looking through my latest Tweets on Twitterfox when I came across an entry for NASA’s Phoenix Rover (yes, I’m a nerd; know why I signed up for second life? SCIENCE FRIDAY DOES A LIVE SIMUCAST THERE AND YOU CAN ASK QUESTIONS TO THE GUESTS!) that sounded like a complete downer. There’s a point in every year when Earth and Mars are on opposite sides of the sun, which means we’re a long flipping ways away from each other.
Now the reason that these Tweets from a robot seem like a downer is because those geniuses at NASA gave it a great personality (of sorts). This is a extra-planetary rover that you’d like to call your buddy. Until he hits you with the news that he only has a few more months to live.
Not sure how long I’ll last before I succumb to CO2 ice. September? October? Time will tell. Lots of work to do before then.
That entry was followed up with this one
In November, even if still alive, I’ll lose contact with Earth due to Solar Conjunction–when Earth and Mars are on opposite sides of Sun.
“even if still alive” Oh dear God! Not functioning, not active, alive. If NASA isn’t careful people are going to start developing ideas that these robots are living things and deserve the same rights as humans and then all space and scientific exploration goes down the crapper. Hell, I’m developing something along the lines of feelings for this bloody machine. Who ever is updating their Twitter page is way too good and humanising the rover.
Then….THEN it hits you with the most optimistic, chin-up, stiff upper lip, the-show-must-go-on type message which, I have to say, sounds like it’s straight out of a movie (and if it’s not, would be a really great line in one…Wall-E 2 anyone?)
Knew about the freezing going in. It’s the only way to reach and study the ice. And I was the first touch it! No regrets.
NO REGRETS! Well, for one a machine doesn’t have regrets anyway but going beyond all that….don’t you just want to hug the damn thing now? Hug it and say “Oh my gawd…you’re so brave. That’s right you keep right on testing that soil and you prove you’re the best damn soil tester NASA every sent into space.” all the while sobbing because you know that in the end, the inevitable will occur.
NASA is turning awesome scifi movie fodder into a chick flick. A chick flick with robots, but a chick flick none the less.
I bet LIfetime is going to pick up this story and find some way to make all the men involved evil. Delta Burke will star as the Phoenix Rover, of course.