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Phoenix Mars Lander Declared Dead

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-pix dept.

Mars 154

SpuriousLogic sends in a sad note from the BBC: "NASA says its Phoenix lander on the surface of Mars has gone silent and is almost certainly dead. Engineers have not heard from the craft since Sunday 2 November when it made a brief communication with Earth. Phoenix, which landed on the planet's northern plains in May, had been struggling in the increasing cold and dark of an advancing winter. The US space agency says it will continue to try to contact the craft but does not expect to hear from it."

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It's not dead... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713573)

It will soon spring forth from the fiery planet to destroy us all! RISE PHOENIX!!! RISE!

Re:It's not dead... (4, Informative)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714191)

On a more serious note - there is a small chance it could survive the freeze and restart once enough sun returns to fill its batteries.

Re:It's not dead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714235)

It is true. Zero is small.

Re:It's not dead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714287)

Zero is not small. It seems you don't understand the concept of zero at all.

Re:It's not dead... (4, Funny)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714357)

Zero != Cake Cake = Lie Lie = Nothing Nothing = Small Zero != Small

Re:It's not dead... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714829)

Just because one has a small penis doesn't mean they don't have one at all, Tim.

Re:It's not dead... (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717121)

Actually, it has aleph-zero chance of rising!

Re:It's not dead... (4, Informative)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715447)

That's extremely unlikely as the batteries themselves will freeze, with the temperatures dropping below -150. The damage done by the freeze will most likely destroy them.

Re:It's not dead... (2, Informative)

ProzacPatient (915544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716489)

Not only that but if the batteries did somehow survive, the solar panels might be covered in too much dust to receive sufficient light to recharge the batteries.

Re:It's not dead... (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716759)

They probably will be with all this damn nay saying. What ever happened to thinking positive?

Re:It's not dead... (1)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716837)

its like wiskey the glass is always half empty, even when its full

P'NIX (5, Funny)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714461)

In the 23rd century, it will be known as an entity named "P'NIX" whose new role is to return to Earth to unite with its Creator.

Re:P'NIX (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715997)

Maybe that explains all that spam then, the future is trying to send us a message! P'NIXISLARGER! But how can we use Icelandic Lager to destroy a mechanical monster?

Re:P'NIX (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716331)

In the 23rd century everyone will have forgotten about it and there will be an amusement park built around it with a catchy jingle:
We're sailors on the moon, we carry a harpoon, but there ain't no whales so tell this tale and sing our whaling tune!

Re:P'NIX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717143)

U'NIX ?

RIP (3, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713583)

The mission was scheduled to last just three months on the surface, but continued to work for more than five months.

I'll drink to that!

Re:RIP (5, Funny)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713633)

Opportunity: You hear about that new guy, Phoenix?

Spirit: Yeah, water ice...wonder what he'll find next.

Op: The dude's dead, yo!

Sp: What? He's only been here 5 months!

Op: I know. Lightweight. Gave some whiney excuse about 'only 3 months'.

Sp: What a wuss. I've been running on half power and 5 wheels most of this damn mission! I guess they don't make 'em like they used to.

Re:RIP (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715045)

Beagle 2: Wazzup!

Re:RIP (1)

poolmeister (872753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717011)

Huygens: Oveerr Heerre... HEY HEEEEYYYY!

Re:RIP (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715567)

It's not Phoenix's fault damnit. They gave him a red shirt at the start of the episode and we all know what that means!

Re:RIP (3, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715711)

Oohh... this reminds me of Wall-E... :(
So sad...

Waaaall....Eeeeeeee... :'(

Re:RIP (5, Funny)

relikx (1266746) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713671)

Tried to pour some carbon dioxide on the curb for all my dead homies...didn't really work out.

Re:RIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714917)

What do you think makes the foam in beer?

Re:RIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715149)

Colt 45 is MALT LICKHER! mofo! what the hell's this beer shit?

Re:RIP (1)

sjs132 (631745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716117)

Shhh.... Next thing you know, someone will want to ban Pop & Beer to limit the CO2...

Re:RIP (2, Funny)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713951)

It's only a flesh wound.

Re:RIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25716451)

Dearest geeks,
what negRo_slim meant when he said he will "drink to that" was that he was only using the success of unexpected extended operating period as an excuse to drink more. This behavior of using various situations as an excuse to drink is not uncommon within the range of college-aged demography.

Therefore, modding the post as insightful not only show that you are not from the laid, drinking crowd, but also shows your failure to comprehend the implicit joke of the post.

God have mercy on your faps.

Last Transmission? (4, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713595)

Did it sing "Bicycle Built for Two," slowing down and getting deeper as it ran out of power? Because that would have been awesome.

Re:Last Transmission? (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713849)

Can you imagine if someone had sneaked that code into it to do just that? OMG. :)

I'm waiting for someone to shoot something at the moon that colors it with some product or countries colors.

Re:Last Transmission? (1)

KORfan (524397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714961)

Didn't DD Harriman sell the rights to not do that?

Late-Breaking News from the Council: VICTORY! (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714077)

> Did it sing "Bicycle Built for Two," slowing down and getting deeper as it ran out of power? Because that would have been awesome.

VICTORY!

The most Illustrious Council of Elders has declared tomorrow a planetary day of celebration. K'breel, Speaker for the Council, spake thus:

"Triumphant Citizens, today all our gelsacs are engorged with delight! After a 160-day campaign in the arctic wastelands of our world, our day of victory has come. For the past thirty days, this latest terror from the blue world has been able to do nothing more but wave its pendulous plumb bob [slashdot.org] at us.

Its relentless chanting of the Day-Z War Song - which our linguists have assured us is about a war machine driven so half-mad with emotion that it would enslave two of its creators for use as propulsion mechanisms - has finally ended. The Day-Z War Song is sung no more.

Rejoice, podmates, for victory is ours! We answer in the affirmative, for we are able!"

(A small group of dissidents in the Press Corps reminded the Speaker that the Invader on the Plains had begun to stir [nasa.gov] , and that The Twin at the Crater was rapidly advancing to the southeast [nasa.gov] after having made an obscene gesture. They were about to inquire as to what progress had been made over the past two and a half years against these threats, but K'Breel had already torn the antenna shaft from the Arctic Invader's lifeless hulk and made a shishkebab of their gelsacs before their question could be been fully heard.)

Re:Last Transmission? (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714185)

A bit of googling and nosing through NASA's and UofA's sites revealed the final logs:

This was a triumph.
I'm making a note here:
HUGE SUCCESS.

before communications went unexpectedly silent.

Actually it did sing (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714323)

It was the first rickroll from another planet!

Re:Last Transmission? (2, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714687)

I still find that scene creepy and unnerving. It's even more unnerving than the book's description (or at least how I recall it -- it's been a few years since I read it), where the modules were completely removed and floated around the room. Bowman did what he had to do, but watching the lobotomization of another thinking being is still uncomfortable.

Re:Last Transmission? (1)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715215)

Indeed, I've seen the film may times and adore it, but Kubrick didn't come close to touching the moment the book captured. Here was a being, made for a thing, doing everything he could for that thing, and yet, the best thing was for it to cease being, knowing, as you slowly killed it's mind (think coma patients, the doors kept working after the mind died) that it's perception of the best way forward was flawed and that the only chance of success was death. I think that in the story Hal knew he was the obstacle, but couldn't understand the way beyond himself.

If only we all could see this.

Re:Last Transmission? (2, Interesting)

hughk (248126) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716353)

Not dead, just sleeping. Remember that HAL was woken up in 2010.

Re:Last Transmission? (4, Informative)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716055)

Did it sing "Bicycle Built for Two", slowing down and getting deeper as it ran out of power?

I thought the tune's name was either "Daisy Daisy" or "Daisy Bell". In any case, it was used in 2001 because it was actually the first tune ever sung by a computer (the IBM 7094), in 1961. Here's an mp3 file link of that historic recording: http://audio.textfiles.com/sounds/daisy.mp3 [textfiles.com]

Re:Last Transmission? (2, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717325)

The story is full of these kinds of references, another famous one is to move the letters H.A.L up one in the alphabet and you get I.B.M (although Clarke claims it was a coincidence). I as in high school when the movie came out, it was required reading and we went to the theater to watch it (Kubrick hadn't done "Clockwork Orange" so nobody was freaked out by his name). Most of the philosophical stuff went straight over our heads but the special effects left an impression. Fourty years later and I get the philosophical stuff but the special effects would seem to indicate Kubrick was on acid.

Wait untill summer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713611)

When the Phoenix will rise from the ashes and be reborn!

The poor (3, Funny)

eille-la (600064) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713637)

It didnt even knew who won the elections

Re:The poor (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714133)

Sure it does. It's the first victim of Obama's NASA budget cuts!

Re:The poor (2, Funny)

gregbot9000 (1293772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717465)

Nope it's the second. Apparently the first cut was the oxygen to your brain.

No problem... (5, Funny)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713641)

...you know what a Phoenix does when it dies, right?

rj

Re:No problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713799)

...you know what a Phoenix does when it dies, right?

rj

Kick the grad student in the balls with all its might?!? Right?! Please?!?

Re:No problem... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713801)

This may be more of a River Phoenix event.

Re:No problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713825)

Indeed, we may see an ever increasing profoundness to come from this machine.

I am going to come back to this tonight at midnight and print to PDF. When the longer days of the Martian summer return, I want to compare the comments.

Ray Bradbury's vision is our reality. Stross' cloud computing comprises entire asteroid belts and planets.
Soon, tomorrow soon.

Re:No problem... (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713925)

Especially if you give it a Viking funeral!

Re:No problem... (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716963)

Sometimes, I wonder if these things aren't planned out as some sort of giant government conspiracy, from the MInistry of All Seriousness.

Re:No problem... (5, Funny)

Tehrasha (624164) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714041)

Difficult to catch fire while surrounded by ice and a CO2 atmosphere.

Re:No problem... (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714929)

...you know what a Phoenix does when it dies, right?

rj

Now that you mention it, maybe it's no coincidence that Martian soil looks like cinnamon.

Re:No problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25716717)

Well, so long as the batteries are made by Sony...

Still a great achievement (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713645)

I really think that these probes have made great strides forward. Hopefully there is only better things to come. It's simply awe inspiring.

Original story and pictures (4, Informative)

sighted (851500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713703)

More info (4, Informative)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714685)

As the NASA article mentions, you can find more info from the Phoenix team's official website: http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/ [arizona.edu]

Also, the Planetary Society has done a great job following the mission, and there's an extremely detailed update [planetary.org] one of their members wrote based on a phone interview with the Phoenix project manager shortly after the last contact with Phoenix was made last week.

Here's a quick summary: Phoenix has been reducing operational tempo for several weeks. In anticipation of having too little power to run the robotic arm and inability to communicate in late November for a few weeks as Mars passes behind the sun, they hurried sample delivery to a few more TEGA ovens for analysis, but they still had one oven-load left to analyze when the dust storm hit that dropped power levels below a sustainable point. However, despite that, they had already met all of their operational objectives. The extra data would have been a bonus.

When they saw the dust storm coming, they tried to power down almost all non-essential systems, but weren't quite in time. As a result, the batteries drained completely and it "browned out." The next day, the batteries charged enough to wake up in what they call "Lazarus mode" and try communicating, but it likely missed the relay window with the orbiters. Over a couple days, they got some intermittent communications, and were hoping to be able to send instructions to properly time the wake-up for best chance at communications and best utilization of what little solar power its getting each day, but apparently that hasn't yet succeeded. They were hoping to get temperature and soil conductivity measurements periodically, and maybe even a few pictures of CO2 ice starting to cake up in the area.

It may still be in Lazarus mode, or something may have failed due to the thermal contraction of the electronics (ex: solder and circuit board material expand at different rates...too extreme of a temperature shift and things start popping apart) ending it for good. There is still some hope that Phoenix will survive the frigid temperatures and even the weight of a meter-thick layer of CO2 ice to awaken in the spring. That's what Lazarus mode was created for, but the hope of that has always been very small.

There's a really interesting tidbit about a microphone that's part of the descent camera. On a whim they tried to use it a couple weeks ago to record wind sounds, but it didn't start up. Then one of the team members had a conversation with blind man who pointed out that he'll never see a picture of Mars, so he had really been hoping the microphone would work so he could experience it through sound. That really motivated the team to try the microphone again, but unfortunately, it sounds like they didn't have a chance with that either.

I've been following this mission on a nearly daily basis since landing. It's been neat to see Phoenix in action, and no doubt a busy few months for the team. I'm sure they'll feel somewhat relieved to return to living by a 24 hour clock and have the leisure to analyze all the data and the 25,000+ pictures it returned. I'll never forget the shot [arizona.edu] Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter got of it drifting down to the surface with Heimdall Crater in the background. In my opinion, it's one of the top 10 space images ever. The MRO team even claims that if you look really close at the full size version, you can see a black-spec a few hundred pixels beneath the lander that is the just-released heat shield falling away.

Well done Phoenix.

Re:More info (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25716023)

Well done Phoenix.

Sure...but also mad props to Peter Smith, Bill Boynton, and Mike Hecht, as well as Kevin Burke, Lori Shiraishi, Heather Enos, and all the others soon to be known only as "et al".

Obligatory (5, Funny)

Overkill Nbuta (1035654) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713725)

He's dead, Jim.

Re:Obligatory (3, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714059)

But... does Netcraft confirm it?

Re:Obligatory (1)

phagstrom (451510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717273)

I say nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

RIP Phoenix Mars Lander (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713745)

Phoenix Mars Lander
Aug 2007 - Nov 2008
We will miss you.
Enjoy the cake, it is not a lie anymore.

Re:RIP Phoenix Mars Lander (2, Informative)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713783)

I know it's sad and all, but aren't Mars rover years like 45 human years? That guy was freakin' old when he kicked, and he went down with a fight! Martian storms really REALLY suck. Forget Kansas Toto, Mars is not for girly rovers!

What a rockin' piece of robot! Salute!

Re:RIP Phoenix Mars Lander (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714709)

I know it's sad and all, but aren't Mars rover years like 45 human years? That guy was freakin' old when he kicked, and he went down with a fight! Martian storms really REALLY suck. Forget Kansas Toto, Mars is not for girly rovers!

What a rockin' piece of robot! Salute!

I'll assume you mean 1 human year is 45 mars-rover years. Well if that is so, then we have two rovers that are rapidly approaching the ripe old age of 405 years old! (Jan 5 2009 one will be 9 human years old (if you count 1st day on Mars as the "day of birth") and the other will be 9 human years old on Jan 25).

Re:RIP Phoenix Mars Lander (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714849)

Err.. They are rappidly approaching 225 years! The 405 was a calculation error.

Two thumbs up given the circumstances. (3, Insightful)

zazenation (1060442) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713809)

Given that the planet Earth is batting only .385 on Mars missions, the extra 2 months of data makes up for it to some extent.

Since Mars does have a thin atmosphere, a probe is likely to be under far greater danger of being hit by random flying debris than on some airless hunk of rock like the Moon where only micrometeorites pose that kind of hazard.

Bye Phoenix, you gutted it out well!

Re:Two thumbs up given the circumstances. (2, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714137)

Since Mars does have a thin atmosphere, a probe is likely to be under far greater danger of being hit by random flying debris than on some airless hunk of rock like the Moon where only micrometeorites pose that kind of hazard.

Huh? I think you have that backwards. Mars has a thin atmosphere, which means that micrometeoriods would likely be burned up before hitting the surface. On the whole a probe would have a far greater chance of being hit by random flying debris on some airless rock than on Mars.

Re:Two thumbs up given the circumstances. (1)

zazenation (1060442) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714449)

I see how what I said can be mis-interpreted.

I mean that since mars has an atmosphere, random debris, e.g. ice particles, small stones, etc being blown about by the wind has a far greater chance of doing damage to a spacecraft than where these conditions don't exist (the Moon). On the Moon, the ONLY (impact type) danger is from micrometeorites (which would burn up in the Martian atmosphere).

Re:Two thumbs up given the circumstances. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715099)

The thinner the atmosphere, the less likely that "stuff" debris, detritus, whatever will be getting "blown about". Not going to be a lot of wind if there isn't much pressure. Even with large heat differences, you won't build much force with wind. I think that is why they have only a few pictures of things like dust devils.

JAILBREAK went wrong (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713813)

OH NO PHEONIX i was only trying to do the new iphone jailbrake .... why ... why ! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO i have bricked my PHEONIX.

RTFA: Lander is not dead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713817)

Phoenix is just pining for the fjords.

Well maybe... (3, Funny)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713877)

"...The US space agency says it will continue to try to contact..."

They should get John Edward [johnedward.net] to help out.

Dead... (1)

SteveHencye (1400473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25713913)

I give a moment of silence....

Just wait. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25713919)

This thing will be reborn, like a Phoenix rising from Arizona!

Foresight? (1)

blue l0g1c (1007517) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714007)

So, it eventually wound down because the change in Martian seasons prevented the solar panels from collecting enough sunlight to keep it going. I wonder if once the planet swings back around into plentiful sunlight it will spring back to life, living up to its namesake.

Re:Foresight? (5, Interesting)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714083)

It was named Phoenix as the mission was originally scrapped after the polar lander crash. When they revived the project they renamed it Phoenix. It's also unlikely that it will be revived in the next martian summer. The reason being that where the rover is, it will be cold enough for the solar cells and other components to be destroyed.

Re:Foresight? (0, Offtopic)

blue l0g1c (1007517) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714127)

Ah, not as fanciful as I had hoped, but very interesting. Mod parent up, please!

Re:Foresight? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714517)

it will be cold enough for the solar cells and other components to be destroyed.

Just out of curiosity, I wonder how much it would add to cost to design it to survive a polar winter (without relying on radiation). Or if it's even possible?
         

Re:Foresight? (1)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715561)

Not sure, the article that I read said the temperatures would be around -128C. At that temperature and in that location it would be encased in a tomb of carbon dioxide ice, and the cold would be enough to crack the solar arrays and break the circuit boards. So you'd have to either be able to move enough to get out of the danger area, or perhaps generate enough heat to not be frozen solid. I'm guessing neither would be very easy to combat due to payload weight issues (getting off earth) and the energy needed to offse those extreme conditions.

Re:Foresight? (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716199)

Probably your best bet would be to stick a RTG in it to keep it warm, combined with the ability to retract into a cocoon of sorts to protect and keep warm things like the solar cells (if you still needed them), robotic arms, and other instruments. Assuming you can keep it warm enough to keep the CO2 off of it, I think it would probably do just fine as you wouldn't have to really worry about liquids getting in and fouling things up.

Re:Foresight? (1)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717171)

So you'd have to either be able to move enough to get out of the danger area, or perhaps generate enough heat to not be frozen solid.

Just give it an AMD CPU.

Mars Explorer with central heating? Done.

Re:Foresight? (2, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714099)

IIRC they expect carbon dioxide to freeze onto the solar panels and break them off.

next spring? (3, Interesting)

Silm (1135973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714037)

I'm just wondering - what is gonna happen next summer? is there a chance that some stuff still works, after the CO2 ice thaws in the "spring"? or would the damage from the freezing be irriversible? what conditions are we talking about midwinter - about a meter of CO2 ice? what damage would that do?

Re:next spring? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714151)

I'm just wondering - what is gonna happen next summer? is there a chance that some stuff still works, after the CO2 ice thaws in the "spring"? or would the damage from the freezing be irriversible? what conditions are we talking about midwinter - about a meter of CO2 ice? what damage would that do?

Probably more like a metre of CO2 snow. I give Phoenix a 10% chance of waking up in 18 months time.

Re:next spring? (2, Funny)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715991)

Are you a rocket scientist? Because I'll give your opinion more than 10% validity if you are ;)

Re:next spring? (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715987)

Yes, the damage done by freezing is irreversible. There is a very, very, slender and against all odds hope however that the damage will be insufficient to actually completely kill the lander.

Awesome (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714219)

This is going to sound really dorky, but I really enjoy hearing about the Mars landers. I get a kick out of getting a camera in the next room to send images to my laptop over the radio. When I was a kid, I built a WeFAX interface to my 8-bit Atari to pull weather satellite images down (I didn't have a HAM radio so couldn't actually do it, but it was cool to play around with the hardware).

Images from Mars. How frickin' cool is that? A quarter century later it still gives me this "anything is possible" feeling..

Transformers (0)

openldev (925511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714305)

Apparently it ran into Megatron ...

I'm not dead yet! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714393)

>The US space agency says it will continue to try to contact the craft but does not expect to hear from it."

Beep! Wait! I'm not dead yet! 010100101010010101001010010100101110....

Re:I'm not dead yet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715585)

00110001 00110011 00110011 00110111 00100000 01101011 01100101 01111001 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100001 00100000 01110000 01101100 01110101 01100111 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01101101 01100001 01101011 01100101 00100000 01110000 01101111 01110011 01110100 01110011 00100000 01100110 01110101 01101110 01101110 01101001 01100101 01110010

Consider the possibilities (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714435)

maybe Martians do exist and they want their privacy and switched off the Phoenix probe so we can't spy on them.

Either that or John Byrne is taking over the Phoenix series and had Mastermind brainwash her for the Hellfire Club and she will rise as "Dark Phoenix".

Maybe there will be a Battle of the Planets and five orphan kids will join to combine their ships with the Phoenix probe into the Firery Phoenix? Ask Seven Zark Seven for more details.

possible failure modes (2, Informative)

unix_geek_512 (810627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714459)

It is possible the lander is receiving insufficient solar radiation to keep its batteries charged in the middle of winter.

Another possibility is that key components may have failed due to the extreme weather conditions at the landing site, which is further North than any other landing location to date.

There is still a glimmer of hope that the lander might come back to life in 6-8 months as the weather improves, if it has not suffered a catastrophic failure.

WOOT? 7p (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25714705)

Community 47

Has Netcraft Confirmed This (1)

SirModem (669652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25714891)

It's not true until the status is reflected on Netcraft.

Aww come on! (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715167)

They gave Steve Fossett like a year...

No problem (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715533)

Have one of the rovers pass by and give it a good whack. Works with most of the junk around my house.

Re:No problem (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716323)

Have one of the rovers pass by and give it a good whack. Works with most of the junk around my house.

But extrapolating that technique to your (ex)girlfriend was a misguided decision.
     

Another one bites the dust... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716467)

Bites the Martian dust, that is. But, i hope that when the seasonal sunlight increases, it phones home, and says, "You humans are DOOMED".... BUT, HOPEFULLY it will be a prank easter egg inrerted by a rogue NASA engineer.

Re:Another one bites the dust... (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716833)

Some Martian will get the Engergizer bunny to jump start it and reprogram it to warn us of out impending doom and then all the computers on Earth will start a countdown.... Maybe I've watched to many B-rated scifi movies?

Way to ruin the video! (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716537)

What's with BBC covering almost 25% of the video with a banner and BBC branding? FFS, fade it out or make it smaller man.

One has to wonder (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716827)

if some Martian someday is going to stumble across this machine and be "Damn Earthlings and their litter" and then destroy us.
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