By Mike Deliman
Last night the news of Spirit's mission coming to a close hit my mailbox.
For me, her journey started about eleven years ago. A call from JPL came to my office phone, it was Glenn. "Mike, we're putting the team back together, we're going back to Mars."
Those words were like music to my ears. At the time, when completing the Mars Pathfinder project the thought occurred…"this, then, is the pinnacle of my career, the point where I can mark as the top of my achievements." This call changed all of that. There were other projects along the way, Gravity-Probe B and others, but Pathfinder had been fantastic!
Over 3 long years we worked as a team, cogs in a bigger machine making something incredible. We all put in long hours, working all day on our mission, dreaming at night of what we were working on (it's a human thing). They began to take on personalities of their own, MER-A being feisty as the "older twin", MER-B cooperating and living the charmed life of the youngest child. Then came the competition where the children gave our babies their names – Spirit and Opportunity. These seemed to be very fitting of our offspring, Spirit surely was full of fitfulness, where as Opportunity was always moving forward.