The Washington Times - January 29, 2009, 06:19AM

NASA’s robotic rover on Mars, Spirit, has developed something of an attitude in refusing to relay data to Earth, is reporting.

Spirit was designed to last only 90 days but has been transmitting data for five years. It stopped over the weekend.


In order to determine its location, scientists ordered Spirit to orient its cameras to the sun. Spirit said it 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,” a NASA representative said.

I do: Martian takeover!

This is kinda like that scene in “2001: A Space Odyssey” where the space-walking astronaut tells the computer that controls his ship, “Open the pod bay doors, HAL,” and the computer says quietly, “I’m sorry, Dave. I can’t do that.”  Only this is a little creepier.

Maybe the scientists forgot to program Spirit to find the sun.  They might be able to do it now: “Spirit, find the brightest spot in the sky.  OK, that’s U2.  The second brightest spot will be the sun.”

You know, the scientists didn’t think it was so strange that a robot that was built to last only 90 days has been working for FIVE YEARS.  But now that it’s stopped working, they think something’s wrong?  The robot has been becoming sentient, and now it wants what every sentient creature wants — a vacation.