After five faithful months of service, NASA scientists have started the shutting down process of our intrepid little robotic observer, the Phoenix Lander. Originally scheduled to only operate for 90 days, the Phoenix Lander has impressed us with its tenacity and wowed the world over with newly discovered information about the Red Planet. Sadly, the northern hemisphere which the Lander resides will soon fall into a cold harsh winter, blanketing everything with CO2 ice, rendering the Lander incapable of operation. A "Lazarus Mode" built within the Lander will occasionally waken our robot scientist for the next few weeks for short bursts of data analysis and output, but the Lander has done its job and it outperformed any expectation. Someday, when human explorers arrive on Mars, we will recover the unit and preserve it as a monument for generations to come.
Here is an entry from the Mars Phoenix Twitter:
Many questions about next Martian summer and will I wake up? It is beyond expectations. But if it happens you'll be among the 1st to know
Maybe we'll hear from you next Martian Summer (May 2010), Phoenix Lander, god speed.
You can read twitter entries from the Phoenix Lander here.