Red Rover, Red Rover

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Opportunity of a Lifetime

February 6, 2008

Now I see. This is what everything was about.”

Opportunity was excited, despite everything as she was multitasking with a rock abrasion tool and monitoring the WATCH sequence of computer commands used to hunt down winter clouds above Victoria Crater.

It's all about water. It's always been about water!”

Even as she was doing so much, she was also conducting joint UHF communications tests with the Reconnaissance Orbiter in preparation of a new mission called Phoenix.

That's what we've been doing Spirit! We're trying to help the people back home find water here I think. Isn't that wonderful? Discoveries like that...well, they could help all of mankind in the future. And you were a part of that. You paved the way...even though I know you didn't realize it. I've just heard that you've been out here the entire time I have. We've both accomplished our primary missions, but neither of us were allowed to go home. But please...don't worry. I know it's been a long time, and you've never really wanted to be out here to begin with...but hold on. Once Phoenix really gets started, we might just get some relief. You might finally be able to go home.”

She suddenly became a little somber now.

I hope you don't become angry with me...but, I think I'm going to stay up here even if that does come to pass. I...I want to continue the work we've been doing. I want to make sure that all the years we've been up here don't go to waste. And, honestly, maybe I also want to be the first one to find the water. Maybe, just maybe, if I can do that for us...for everybody...our family...we can finally stop hiding.”

The Ultra High Frequency tests were finishing up, and Opportunity was being directed to start moving again, for the Victoria Crater. She acknowledged the request and began driving along.

That's it Spirit. For our family...for everyone back home. This needs to be done...and I think I have to be the one to do it. I love you brother....please just hold on a little longer.”


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