'I can't move and it's getting cold'.

If the Spirit rover could speak, this is what it would have said.

Our story begins in 2004, January 4th.

The spirit rover slams into the dusty surface of Mars, bouncing on it’s airbags 28 times before coming to rest.

It landed about 13 kilometres away from the targeted site, in the Gusev Crater.

The team at NASA informally named the landing site ‘Columbia Memorial Station’, in honour of the astronauts who were lost in the Columbia disaster, just the year before in 2003.

After a successful landing, Spirit opens its eyes. This is the first colour image Spirit captured, which was, at that time; the highest definition image ever taken on another planet.

So far the mission was running smoothly, but that was all about to change.

On January 21st, Spirit’s 17th Martian day, mission control suddenly lost contact with the rover.

The next day, Spirit sent a short beep, confirming that it had received a signal from Earth but that the rover believed it was in some sort of fault mode.

At the time, NASA engineers speculated that the rover was stuck in a reboot loop. Spirit was programmed to restart if it detected a fault, but if that fault occurred during reboot, it would continue to reboot indefinitely.

This meant that the rover was not going into sleep mode, therefore wasting it’s energy and running the risk of overheating. This error was taken very seriously and could have signalled the end of Spirit’s journey.

Luckily, on Spirit’s 19th day, the team at NASA announced that the problem was actually with Spirit’s flash memory, and the issue was software related. The fix was as easy as deleting some files carried on the rover’s flash drives and reformatting the system.

By day 32, Spirit was back up and running.

Spirit would go on to make more discoveries and run into more trouble, watch the video to see spirit's full journey.

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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
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Please note: We are not affiliated with NASA in any way, we just want more people to be inspired by their great work!

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