Jeff Barr's Blog

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Save the Rovers!

My friend Kevin Burton was lamenting the fact that NASA has been forced to cut funding for Spirit and Opportunity, the two Mars rovers which have long outlived their design lifetime, sending back tons of data and pictures in the process.

The budget shortfall? 4 million dollars. A mere pittance in the big scheme of things, when you think about it. I’m not going to go into the politics behind this. Obvioiusly, I’m for science and space exploration. I was following the Mercury missions by the time I was 5 years old. We need more low-budget, high-return programs like this.

Fellow space geeks, are we going to let this happen? I think not. Let’s save those rovers!

I’m traveling and have to be at my first meeting in less than two hours, so I need your help. I see a couple of ways to go about this. As always, we can tell our elected representives that we believe science and space exploration are important to our country and to our future, and that we need them to pitch in and help.

The second plan is a bit different. What if we just raise the freaking 4 million bucks ourselves and simply give it to the team? What would happen if we showed up at NASA HQ with a big plywood check (backed up by real money of course)? Could they take it, and would this make a difference? Does anyone know?

I just registered savetherovers.com and would be happy to use it as part of an organized effort to do something remarkable. I would also be willing to pitch in $100 as my part of the $4 million. That means we need just $3,999,900 more.

Anyone want to help here? Leave a comment and let’s see what we can figure out…