Mars Rover Mars Rover, it's over it's over

It’s times like this I wish we really did just have the rovers on a sound stage or somewhere in the desert. Unfortunately, we really did fire a freaking rocket, loaded with robots, into space, which rendezvoused with another planet, then disgorged said robots for a perfect landing, after which time the robots ran perfectly well for four years now, advancing our knowledge of the red planet and the solar system.

Unfortunately, because of some “belt-tightening” at NASA (most likely siphoning off a little cash to buy more bombs), the rover Spirit will be put into sleep mode indefinitely sometime in the next few weeks. The good news is that Spirit is on a clear, sunny slope and chances of reactivation are high if they can get the ~$20 million per year they need to keep exploring. But I guess shooting RC robots to another planet and studying the hell out of our cosmic neighbor isn’t really that important! God! Why doesn’t someone bail out this poor organization? I know, how about the CEO of Bear Stearns? He could run it for ten years.

[UPDATE by Matt Hickey] Or, ya know, sike.