It has been just over six (Earth) years since the Spirit and Opportunity rovers landed on Mars. Both have far, far outlasted their warranty, helped in part by dust devils that handily blew dust off their solar panels.
Now, via Sky and Telescope, comes word that Spirit has reached highway's end, not quite seven kilometers from its landing place. Like many a pioneering terrestrial motorist, its joyriding days ended in a sand drift.
But if Spirit's motoring days are over, its exploring days happily are not. It will continue operating as a fixed radio beacon on the Martian surface, permitting precision measurements of Mars' rotation that can help to determine whether it retains a liquid core.
And so the adventure continues ...
Related posts: Weather and landslides on Mars.