You may recall a post I did back in 2012 about it being the ninth anniversary of the unsuccessful Beagle mission to Mars.
I said that it had been doomed to failure anyway, but even so I was quite upset by it. At about the time that Beagle was piggybacked on a mission from the ESA, NASA launched the Spirit/Opportunity rover missions. Spirit was operational from January 2004, got stuck in a crevasse, and ceased functioning in 2010. This in itself was remarkable, since the thing had been expected to last about 90 days, not six years. That’s quite some engineering.
Even more remarkable was the endurance of its sister, Opportunity. That was still functioning until June of this year. I say ‘functioning,’ but its age was showing a bit. Back in late 2014, it started suffering from amnesia. Yes, the little fellah (Little? About the size of a…
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