NASA Rover on Strike
Mars Spirit fails to report for work
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2009 3:49 AM CST
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. Five years after it began exploring Mars, Spirit has failed to report for work.   (AP Photo/NASA)
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(Newser) – NASA engineers are perplexed by a rebellious streak that has developed in its Martian roving robot, Spirit. It was expected to last just 90 days when it landed on Mars five years ago, but the robot has continued to send back data. This past weekend, however, Spirit failed to report for work and recorded no new data, reports Space.com.

In a bid to pinpoint Spirit's location, scientists ordered the robot on Monday to orient its cameras to the sun. Spirit responded yesterday that it had tried to follow orders, but couldn't find the sun. "We don't have a good explanation yet for the way Spirit has been acting for the past few days," said a NASA spokeswoman. "Our next steps will be diagnostic activities."