By Rob Beschizza at 4:34 am Fri, Jan 29, 2010
“And all I ask is a merry yarn
from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream
when the long trickâ€™s over.”
How about we make a space program as a stimulus thing to fix the economy. We could go to the moon and even Mars. Or we could cancel manned space and give to the trillion dollar march into banker pockets.
Don’t worry little guy, sooner or later we will be there to pick you up. Truth is I hope we never take him home but instead house him in a nice museum in the thriving capitol city of free Mars.
Rather poignant. Makes me want to hug my old Tandy Model 102 (my favorite piece of field equipment and long time friend…).
DAMN YOU NASA! You heartless bastards! ;__;
That’s my girl, Spirit. That’s my girl.
you make us proud, little buddy. We will see you again.
I’m NOT crying. I’m only… cutting onions… for a lasagna.
Did Rover ever make it to that giant buried robot or the pyramids?
It ain’t over until the electronics freeze. As long as it talks to us there’s still science it can do- NASA mentions collecting data to determine whether Mars has a solid or liquid core.
Perhaps some future generation will bring them back, but I’m sure the people who put them there would prefer that they stay there.
We didn’t do a good job of telling you this before, Spirit. But you ARE home. You were built to thrive exactly where you are. Of all the things ever brought forth from Earth, you and Opportunity are the only ones entitled to call Mars home.
Clay lies still
But blood’s a Rover
I was half expecting a Wall-E joke in the last panel
By the time we humans get to Mars, Spirit and it’s brood are going to be armed and waiting.
Much love Spirit!!
If you haven’t heard Jonathan Coulton’s Space Doggity, don’t listen now unless you need more sad:
Of course it’s not aware, but a few months ago when it was getting stuck, I was morose too.
Then I thought:
A Rescue! A Rescue! Prep the rockets. We’ve spent money on stupider things.
I’m with redmonkey – goddamn anthropomorphism at 6 a.m. I’m not generally a softie but I have a tepid spot in my heart for these rovers. (Good boy…)
Usually I regret reading comments on articles, but not on Boing Boing. I was glad to see somebody else was sad.
I came here to read the comments even though I read the cartoon last night. I needed some closure to my sad-robot feelings. Thanks # 1, 7, 9, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21-23…. Particularly 17, though Maxwell’s anthropomorphism can be a little crushing.
captcha: material careened
AWWWW. poor guy.
We finally have justification for a manned Mars mission.
“We go to Mars not because it is easy, but because dammit that little rover needs a hug!”
And yes, I cried. Wanna make something of it, punk?
The technical term for the projected 90 day life is sandbagging.
We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.
— Robert A. Heinlein
It’s okay. Soon he’ll be with Dave Bowman and HAL.
I’m not sure why anyone thinks Rover was ever going to “go home”.
This is why we should not program machines to have feelings or self-awareness.
Wall-E was far from the first. Neither was “The Brave Little Toaster”, and it was published in 1980 (the movie came seven years later).
We (humans) seem to haves personified our tools and machines as long as we have had them. “Enola Gay”? Boats with eyes? A hauberk named Emma? Various named swords?
I figure that if your average car has a designed life expectancy of 150,000 (I think in miles, but it doesn’t really matter), it would have to run for 3.24 million to match Spirit’s record. Great job, NASA.
And it isn’t done yet. It just won’t be roving any longer.
That’ll do, probe. That’ll do.
Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do,
I’m half crazy, all for the love of you…
I’m also reminded of that killer final scene from “Silent Running,” where the little drone-robot, all alone, tends the garden in the geodesic dome adrift in space.
if only those swiffer mop commercials were able to create this much emotion
he reason they don’t is because the old mop is portrayed as an ex-lover, someone we might feel a little bad for, but ultimately hope to see move on. If they portrayed it as a child or pet abandoned to the cold, we’d feel a lot more sorry for them.
Of course, they don’t want us to really connect with the mop – nobody would ever buy a swiffer.
Anyways, the moral of the comic is obviously to include a GOOD_JOB message in all remote control interfaces.
FROWNY FACE. :<
Count me among the sad. Munroe is damn good at what he does. If only he would use these powers for good.
I don’t think we’re going to have trouble accepting AIs as equals. We already feel sorry for AS’s like this guy.
“Guy.” See? I can’t help it. And he IT’s not even cuddly.
Dammit. <strike> is a perfectly legitimate text mod, BoingBoing!
OK, my own fault for not previewing. Or, of course, remembering that BB doesn’t allow <strike>.
The third sentence in my post above should be stricken, as should the word ‘he’ in the last sentence.
Many of you feel bad for this rover. That is because you crazy. It has no feelings. And the new one is much better.
Honestly, though, I couldn’t help but go, “Awww… poor rover.”
Many of us feel sad for the rover in the comic strip. Unlike the one that’s really on Mars, this one *does* have feelings.
I gather you have yet to see the IKEA ‘sad lamp’ commercial? That’s what Solnar was quoting ;)
And count me in on feeling all down about that poor lonely rover. I’m a sucker for personalization. *snf*
standby… working the problem…
Damnit Randall! Now I’m sad. :'(
this is old, we never published it really – if anyone has an interest in this, the full recordings are available. quite amazing really, a good hour and a half of live overlay
Um…I think there is something in my eye.
I have to concur that I would prefer its shrine be in place. A nice little bubble with a plaque and some landscaping… This can be done. We can do this! I’m in; let’s go!
in fact, the reason that CD is not published is that we had trouble both identifying and acquiring the rights to all the tracks. the copyright office denied our claim for a sound recording saying that overlaying and mixing were not authorship…
Touching. Definitely touching.
Asimov would be turning in his grave…attaching human feelings to machines… stop over-analysing.
you did a good job.
Yeah, having scenes like this running through your head is pretty much the reason not to use dogs for one way space missions.
Well they want to push the retirement age higher and higher.
That’s the saddest and yet most inspiring thing I’ve seen from Mars since http://twitter.com/MarsPhoenix/status/999383469
Pretty much sums up my thoughts. Maybe when we have outposts there, they can retrieve it for the spacesonian museum.
hah, the rovers replied
I was NOT prepared to encounter that at this hour of the morning.
You shouldn’t anthropomorphize the Mars rovers. They hate that.
This makes me sad. We’re proud of you Spirit. You did a good job.
When I read that comic I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of sadness.
Move over Rover, and let Jimmy take over!
(paging Bill Hicks)
:'( now i’m sad
Good Rover. Who’s a good Rover? You’re a good Rover. Yes you are. Oh yes you are.
How many of you are old enough enough to remember Laika?
I was seven and cried because they couldn’t bring her home.
That’s truly sad.
I’m not going to lie. I cried a little.
We should send him a Roverette. Least we could do for the little guy.
Look on the bright side, at least he’s not stuck in loose Martian sand.
Why would a dutiful rover expect to return home (which I assume is earth)? This makes no sense to me. Thery’re put on Mars to execute a mission, explore, and do all sorts of cool stuff. Why return to earth to hang from the ceiling of the Smithsonian for a bunch of nose-picking fatsos to ignore.
I hope my Honda isn’t longing to return to the Honda plant in Ohio.
Maybe I’m bitter because mr stick figure cartoon guy’s cartoon makes in on boingboing, but my concept album about rovers didn’t.
He’s doing science and he’s STILL ALIVE!
Go ahead and leave me.
Seriously, this is far too sad a thing to have to deal with before coffee.
Red rover, red rover, send overwhelming sadness right over.
it’s a machine, people. (and I have a black, shriveled heart)
I can’t imagine the elation of the people working on this project, having been able to collect data for years after the projected life of the rover.
In an episode of COSMOS, Carl Sagan suggested that one day we would send rovers to Mars and the world would watch through their cameras as they discovered many wonders. I guess it’s a good thing he wasn’t around to see how quickly the world got bored with rocks. I’d like to think he’d still be giddy about it, though.
I don’t think it’s the actual rover that made us sad, it’s the personified rover in the comic that made us sad. Actually, it’s more “dog-ified” than anything else. Now, had the real rover never existed and he just drew a comic like this, I don’t think people would have been sad either. The combination of the two produced a strange effect of making people feel sad for an inanimate object.
Hell I was sad about the rover BEFORE this comic. I hope when we do get to Mars we collect our two wayward scouts and give them the respect they deserve.
I’m dealing with it with coffee, still sad. Damn anthropomorphism ….
Be sure to tune in for part two, where after an alien space probe collides with Spirit, it turns into S’pit, a giant angry cloud entity that heads off to Earth to find its makers…
90 days? Spirit has been driving around Mars since 2004.
Right. That’s the point of the comic. The projected (hem hem) lifetime of the project was 90 days.
The family of Spirit asked, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made in yts honor to MÃ©decins Sans FrontiÃ¨res: http://MSF-Donation.notlong.com
Damn it, you beat me to it. I don’t think the sadness of the post would have been so great without the influence of Wall-E, leading me to automatically project human emotions onto cute little machines like that…
It’s not dead yet, folks.
@scottmaxwell ‘s on Slashdot post is the best summary I’ve seen so far.
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