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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Happy Birthday Spirit!

The Spirit Mars Rover celebrated her first birthday yesterday, having spent a full year exploring Mars. Her twin, Opportunity, has a birthday coming up at the end of the month.

Both rovers were originally slated for 90-day missions, with the option to extend them if they continued to work well. To date they've both far exceeded the hopes of the science community, having now survived the Martian winter. While minor problems have set in on each (Spirit has a balky front wheel and intermittent steering problems) they continue to produce new science. Spirit is currently scaling "Husband Hill" performing rock and soil analysis. Opportunity has just worked its way out of Endurance Crater where it's been for the past six months and is off to take a look at its re-entry heat shield which landed nearby.

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It's really sad that we only get to experience so much science in our short lifetimes. Our lifespan is so terribly limited, we'll never be able to see the long term effects studies like this have on human developement and history.

Hey, speak for yourself. I'm planning on getting my mind transferred into a computer. A non-Windows based one.

Seriously, I agree with you. I've spent time before I fall asleep wondering about all the stuff I'm going to miss, and if it would be worth it to freeze myself for a couple of decades just to see what things would be like when I was thawed out.

Is either of the rovers going to explore Cydonia? ;)

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