NASA's Mars Lander tweets and blogs about its death

Thousands of users have followed the posts that began with the Mars landing in May

"Take care of that beautiful blue marble out there in space, our home planet. I'll be keeping an eye from here."

Those were among the last words posted by NASA officials identified as the Phoenix Mars Lander on Twitter. Personnel at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab have been posting in the voice of the Mars Lander since May 25, when it touched down on the Red Planet during what mission control at the space agency described as "seven minutes of terror."

The latest posts from the Lander - which NASA announced Monday had stopped communicating due to a lack of sunlight that's needed to power the batteries that run the Lander's instruments - were markedly different from the jubilant messages posted just after the Mars landing.

The Lander's Tweets then included:

"The parachute is open!!

"Come on Rocketssssss!!!"

"I've landed !!!!!"

"Cheers! Tears! I'm here!"

The reflective messages posted over the last two weeks include:

"In case we don't get this chance again, thank you all so much for the questions, comments & good wishes over the mission. It's been awesome."

"The team has me on extreme "bed rest" to recharge power supply. There's cautious optimism about pulling out of this in a few days."

"I'm resting a lot but still communicating with orbiters once per day. Still hoping to get a bit of strength back & maybe do more science."

"I should stay well-preserved in this cold. I'll be humankind's monument here for centuries, eons, until future explorers come for me."

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Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
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