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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Spirit stuck!

The Spirit and Opportunity rovers landed on Mars six years ago now, and have been racking up all sorts of discoveries as they trundle around the Red Planet. When you consider that their official science mission life was 90 days, it's a tribute to the engineers who designed them and have been operating them.

However, Spirit got into trouble in some soft sand early last year, and this week NASA announced that it was officially stuck, nothing they've tried to get it out has worked, and with the Martian winter coming (which means less sunlight for the solar panels), they are giving up and are going to concentrate on making sure it survives till the spring, when it'll run as a weather station.

Full story here. A very different look from XKCD is here.

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There's real pathos in that xkcd. When I was a kid I probably would have cried inconsolably at reading something like that.

I also like what Munroe has been doing lately with colour.

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