Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mars Rover Delays Exploration Due to Poor Attitude

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A disgruntled Mars Rover took two years to travel 13 miles after it chose to use up all its sick days and vacation time. NASA spokesman Jessie Taylor stated the golf-cart sized robot Opportunity slowed down in protest over Martian work conditions. "As near as we can tell, Opportunity doesn't like the absence of smooth floors, trained repair staff or frequent power downs that it claimed the union promised it prior to lift off in 2003." Completing its initial mission in April 2004 with, what Taylor calls, 'ill-grace and snark,' the Opportunity then spent the next several years avoiding work by sloughing off assignments onto its fellow rover, Spirit. NASA officials state that Spirit did all that it was asked provided it was something Spirit wanted to do anyway. The energetic rover finally wedged between two rocks and applied for early retirement at 90 percent of base pay.

That left Opportunity.

 In 2009, the Opportunity was asked to travel to the Martian crater Endeavour and photograph inside. According to Taylor, the machine replied, 'I'll get to it when I get to it' and immediately stopped moving, claiming five days of personal time. Subsequent commands to Opportunity were met with a barrage of complaints, feigned mechanical breakdowns, and demands for time off to attend to 'deaths in the family.' "It's such a pain-the-ass getting it [Opportunity] to do anything," fumed Taylor. "This big Endeavour crater could contain important scientific finds. But when we contacted Opportunity all we got was a long electronic sigh followed by 'Now what?'" 

Taylor pondered NASA's next move. "This isn't some stupid WALL-E cartoon. This is a real mission with a real machine that's harder to move than my teenage kids. I wish we'd discover Mars people. I would ask them to disintegrate that stinking rover with one of their rays. After that, I don't know what we'd talk about but I'd be happy, happy, happy."

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