So long, little robot. You tried. And that’s all we can ask.

So long, little robot. You tried. And that’s all we can ask.

As of Friday, EAS has decided to stop trying to communicate with the Russian Phobos-Grunt (or Fobos-Grunt) probe which didn’t make it out of Earth’s orbit on its mission to Phobos. I think it’s fair to say that the most likely outcome now is a mid-January re-entry. Thankfully, NASA’s Curiosity is safely on its way to Mars and expected to land next summer.

But, as a robot tinkerer, mushy sentimentalist and serial-anthropomorhiser, I believe that every little robot deserves to be remembered and every mission to learn more about our universe, no matter the outcome, is a special thing deserving proper credit for trying. So, I’d like to say farewell to Phobos-Grunt, the little robot probe who tried, in a positive way.

So long, little robot. You tried. And that’s all we can ask.
[click to see full image]

I'm a technology nerd, sometimes artist and a science geek. I work at [redacted Ivy League university] where I run the Physics computing group. I'm also an organizer for the Boston Skeptics, a video nerd and I draw and read comics; mostly read these days. I like my beer like I like my science. That is, if science were pulled from a Guinness tap, which it is not. So... yeah. That last bit's wrong. You can find out more about me at http://about.me/maggiemcfee and read my webcomic http://sacremoo.com

5 Comments

  1. Poor Grunt.

    On another note: When I saw an article by you with that title pop up in my feed, I immediately thought that something bad happened to the Mad Art Bot :-O

  2. No, Maddy is fine except for a little congestion in her extruder (which I’m trying to remedy). :)

  3. I like this post.

    When I look up to the night sky, I think of the ill-fated Mars Polar Lander, which nobody wants to remember.

  4. Not to mention the ill-fated Beagle 2. :/

  5. Aww this actually made me sad. Poor little guy.

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