Our brave little Mars robot rover, Opportunity has died.
This cool (it’s cold there) robot lady, Oppy, has been collecting intelligence about our human idiocy for fifteen years without a potty break. Or ro-botty break? She’s been brave, beautiful, and brilliant, and deserves some kind of memorial.
Reading about her recent disappearance into a Martian dust storm almost made me cry. Big girls don’t cry unless they want to, okay?
God made such beautiful worlds. Now there is one for us, and one for robots.
But part of my sadness was also for this planet, because we are messing it up a lot. All that dust that took our sweet robot could actually probably give us a much needed little ice age were we smart enough find Oppy to collect some dust for us. Or if we were smart enough to NOT put so much carbon pollution into our own atmosphere.
There is no planet B, of course. Except mars. Or all the others.
Mars, however, is only an Opportunity for the very courageous among us. That usually excludes most billionaires, of course. But, ironically, only the mega rich among us will ever be able to “do launch” together.
To make it on Mars you need tons of bravery, food, technology, grit and lots of money. And you would also have to take GaGa, Elton John and David Bowie, among others, of course.
Elton John told me when I was a kid that “Mars ain’t the place to raise your kids, in fact it’s cold as hell, and there’s no one there to raise them. If you did.”
The piano man has taught us so much about being a rocket man that I almost want to give away my earthly body and become a robot man like Oppy.
Robots do well on Mars. People do not even do so well on Earth. This is one reason I love and welcome our AI overlords. It’s just a matter of time.
Oppy went to Mars with a companion, Spirit. Spirit died in 2010 having gotten stuck in sand. Spirit was referred to as an “It” so I’m guessing they was gender neutral. Or maybe a male since he couldn’t ask for directions.
Oppy bravely persevered. Oppy and Spirit together were intrepid and amazing explorers, photographers, engineers and dust poets. They taught us tons about ancient microbial life without once leaving a wet sponge in the sink.
Resting now, forever, at Perseverance valley near Victoria Crater, say a little in prayer for them both. And don’t forget one for Earthlings.