Spirit. Your quest, our quest.

How can words fail you and emotion take over when you speak about a machine?
How can metal and wires give you a knot on your throat, make your eyes go teary and your heart to squeeze?
You become part of my life, everyday during these last 6 years, during its ups and downs, there you were, there we were, side by side in our hardships and glories, entangled in our far apart existences, I, from here, enticing you to go Onward! Always Onward…only to find myself amazed by listening to you, from the cold, harsh distance of Mars, whispering to me that everything is possible. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.


And now, funnily enough, until the end, here we are, together, with the space in between, facing once more, abreast, an uncharted territory: Settling down.

A friend forever, how could I possibly forget you my beautiful Spirit? It is not a secret that you are my favourite, MY martian rover, my arms, legs, eyes on that dusty, rusty, barren landscape. I walked along with you from the days you were young and shiny under the martian sun, brave on your crossing of deserts and climbing of mountains, conquering summits, intrepid pioneering through unknown dominions, reaching lands of myth and dream, I have walked with you along the rugged terrain, the treacherous dunes and inner basins…how can I ever forget you?
How can I ever forget each Sol since the first Sol? Each new look towards a new world? Each new discovery? Each new joy? Each drama, triumph and relief? What a wonderful 6 roving years these were…

Your quest was my quest, your wandering was my wandering, who cares if you are a machine and I am a human? You were all of us there, in your valiant resistance to a planet that took the decision of not making it wasy on you, to challenge you, test you, the same planet that now honours you and welcomes you. Encircled by the Columbia Hills, on Gusev Crater, Planet Mars, there you will now rest my amazing gal, from an extraordinary, oniric, unique quest, in a place called Troy. There, I am sure, you will never forget us, those who dreamed you, those who built you, those who sent you on your journey beyond Earth, those who, from the cradle, took care of you each and every day and those who, like me, were conquered by your example, friends, companions, fellow pilgrims on an epic quest we made also our own…you will never forget home, Ithaca, facing the dunes of Eldorado, the Eldorado you have searched and reached at your own effort, riding, boldly riding.

May the winds of the Red Planet spread your tale.
Thank you Spirit. For making our lives richer. For sharing an adventure out of this world. For teaching us how to to resist, to discover, to go Beyond.
For being, truly, the little rover that could.
Ultreya good old pilgrim, the real journey starts here!

Here’s to you, our music, our poem, the poem you, once, many years ago, sent me from that distant world, Mars:

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  1. Clara, Spirit is not dying, she has probably lost her ability to do what she was born for, rove, but she can accomplish yet valuable science as a static explorer.
    And, answering your question, no, it is not a bit too much.

  2. So, Spirit (which is the extension of the limbs and sense organs of the publisher) is dying, with no solution?
    I feel sorry for Spirit, and Phoenix too.
    But isn`t calling them (robots/computers beings)friends, even more than friends,entities with which we create empathy, a little bit too much?

    • Nick
    • January 26th, 2010

    Very moving, very appropriate, Rui. You speak for us all.

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