Wednesday, January 27, 2010

They say that one of the Mars rovers is stuck in the sand now, two wheels broken, digging itself in deeper each time it tries to heave itself out. From down here on Earth the people in charge are going to try to rock the poor stationary thing into a better position for getting sun into its solar panels, and then it will hibernate. If they can wake it back up again come summer it might tell us whether Mars is filled with iron or puppies or if it sloshes while it orbits, but until then it will sit there stranded and motionless on what sounds like a relatively hostile patch of sand. In the meantime its twin will continue to trundle across the land on the other side of the planet.

Late one of these nights, lit only by streetlights or the glow in a dim bar or the brief flashes of passing cars, I might tell you the story about how the stranded Mars rover met the spacebat, how the bat rested its tired leather hands on the sleeping metal shell and how, come summer, they both found a friend.

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