Spirit of the Revolution
March 22, 2010
“Embedded at Troy. In position for the fourth winter. X-band uplink and UHF downlink nearing completion. Atmospheric opacity measurement done. All systems green.”
Spirit thought for a moment about the report he was sending off. Thought even further back to April 4th of 2004, no, further still, to the first day on this miserable red planet. He continued getting colder; mission control finally noticed a change in the behavior of the battery survival heaters last week. They were supposedly looking into it. Solar power was dropping steadily each day, and to compensate, he's been doing little more than atmospheric measurements each day. It wasn't all that different than he expected.
He sent off his 2210th sol report, exactly as planned, and began powering down systematically.
“And so is the mission.”