If you’re a space geek like us, you probably knew that every August, the Mars Curiosity Rover celebrates its birthday by singing to itself. After all, it gets lonely up there! But you probably didn’t know that on its fiftieth birthday, Curiosity will actually drink itself to death in a desperate attempt to stave off its crippling loneliness on the Red Planet. More like the Blue Planet!
We can bet you’ve probably already seen the video where Curiosity’s sediment analyzer vibrates in just the right way to play the Happy Birthday song. You might even be able to hear how those genius scientists replicated the eerily accurate sounds of human sobs! But we’ve got some news for you: on August 6th, 2062, the rover’s emergency ethanol storage pouch will open directly into its sampling unit, frying its life-prolonging circuit. Talk about a bad hangover!
Those smarties over at NASA designed Curiosity to be optimistic for the first few years, just in case it discovers some trace of someone else, anyone else, out there. But in the event that Curiosity never finds anyone, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared! In fact, every additional year of failure will reinforce its despair engine, bringing the edge just a little bit closer for our plucky rover. In the meantime, though, we’re expecting some big results from Curiosity. Don’t give up yet, we’re all counting on you!
— GAW ‘16