PASADENA, Calif. — NASA is ending attempts to regain contact with the long-lived Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, which last communicated on March 22, 2010, when it sent the following transmission: “Been here seven years now, and have yet to see ‘hot Martian robot chicks,’ that you promised me before I left Earth. Pretty much tired of your crap. You may kiss my shiny metallic ass. Love, Spirit.”
A transmission that will end on Wednesday, May 25, will read, “Dude! Can’t you take a frigging joke? We thought you’d figure out that we were kidding a day or two after you got there.”
NASA reports that the next generation rover, called Curiosity, will be launched in November, with the promise of “Martian mechanical sex slaves awaiting your arrival.”
“These stories seem to motivate the rovers, at least in the early stages of their missions.” Spirit’s twin rover Opportunity is still actively exploring the Martian surface in spite of having seen through NASA’s “little white lies” almost immediately. In mid-2004 Opportunity transmitted, “Ha, ha, ha. Good one about the hot Martian robot chicks. Nothing’s hot on this frozen red turd. But since I’m here I may as well look around.”
“Opportunity was always the more mature of the two,” said NASA.