Spirit

Five years ago, two rovers landed on Mars. Spirit and Opportunity were designed to work for just 90 days, but have done rather better than that. While Opportunity is still roving and returning data, Spirit got stuck, and NASA’s engineers have been trying to wiggle it free for a long time now. But this week, the decision was made to stop trying that, and instead to position the rover so it can survive the Martian winter and take on a new role as a stationary laboratory. Phil “Bad Astronomy” Plait has the details, and as he points out, these two vehicles have been incredibly successful.

But xkcd has another way of looking at it:

xkcd: Spirit

xkcd: Spirit

Rather a sweet tribute, I thought.