June 05, 2005

Yeee Haw!

The Mars Rover Opportunity finally got itself unstuck from a sand dune that had mired it down for 5 weeks. The Mars Rover team here on Earth had originally sent Opportunity over the dune in search of Mars' elusive water.

Said one of the team leaders, "We figured that maybe, just maybe that sand dune was part of a beach, and there would be an ocean on the other side. In retrospect, the fact that we could see there was no water on the other side should have made the trip unnecessary. But by that point I figured, 'What the hey, let's see what this puppy can do.'

"That probably wasn't the smartest thing to do." He added while he finished cleaning out his desk. "I've got to go now. My plane leaves for Antarctica in an hour."

Engineers built a giant sandbox model of the sand dune, and then spent weeks working with a model of Opportunity trying to figure out how to get it out. Progress would have occurred sooner, but the judging for "Best Sandcastle" required two separate court cases after a steroid scandal swept through the competition.

"Best Sand-Angel" was awarded posthumously to a janitor who fell off a cat-walk while changing a light bulb over the half acre sandbox.

The solution to Opportunity's sandy woes was reached at last when a group of experts from Jeep's "Go Anywhere" Team were brought in to consult. Chief Jeep enthusiast Bubba "The Bubster" Plotts examined the problem for less than a minute before telling the NASA technicians to "Put it in Low."

When cheers broke out after Opportunity reported back that it was clear of the sand, "The Bubster" snorted, "City boys. They think they know everything."

The Jeep team also made several design suggestions before leaving the NASA center. Among the ideas were a gun rack, flames painted along the sides of the chassis, and a cup holder. As one of the Jeep members said, "Hey if you find water, where are you going to put it?"

Posted by GEBIV at June 5, 2005 10:26 AM

LOL! :-D

And I wouldn't be surprised to learn that "What the hey, let's see what this puppy can do" WAS actually said at some point :-)

Posted by: Harvey at June 5, 2005 01:00 PM

LOLROTFDACGU! Ok I just made that last part up, rolling on the dying and can't get up.

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