Speak to Me, Meatball: Phoenix Edition

NASA has lost contact with the Phoenix lander, the plucky little robot that's been beaming back all kinds of cool images and other data from Mars, including confirmation of water ice. The lander has been having trouble charging its solar-powered batteries due to the winter season and dustier skies.

The press release at the other end of that link suggests that the loss of contact was expected, though throughout all the ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the past few months I didn't hear anyone mention the lander's mayfly lifespan.

For several years I was a NASA skeptic, believing that the jillions of dollars spent on space exploration might be excessive (see, e.g., this, which was followed suspiciously by this), though I've since softened that attitude. Still, sending extremely expensive robots to other planets so they can die after a few months strikes me as a tad troubling.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by hb published on November 11, 2008 7:59 AM.

Meet Mercury was the previous entry in this blog.

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