Earlier this year, NASA landed a rover on Mars for a potentially history-making exploration mission. The rover is named Perseverance, and it’s been sent to search for signs of life on the planet. While the whole world is cheering for the Perseverance Rover, there has been little talk about NASA’s back-up rover: The Indifference Rover.
The following is a timeline of The Indifference Rover’s journey to Mars.
July 29th, 2020
3:30 PM — The Perseverance and Indifference rovers are set to launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the Atlas V-541 rocket tomorrow morning. Indifference seems to have figured out how to turn itself off, and it keeps doing so. It has effectively learned how to nap. The team is making emergency adjustments to disable this function.
July 30th, 2020
6:00 AM — Rocket is set for launch in exactly 50 minutes. All systems are go for takeoff.
6:27 AM — The Indifference Rover seems to have gone missing. We’re conducting a full search of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to locate Indifference.
6:45 AM — The Indifference Rover has been located in the staff rec room where it was watching television. It has been returned to the rocket.
6:50 AM — Perseverance and Indifference have officially launched. Success!
August 10th, 2020
8:39 AM — The Indifference Rover is attempting to turn the rocket around and come back to Earth. It has sent a message to base explaining that it thinks the mission “sucks” and is “stupid.”
12:00 PM — Indifference seems to have given up on figuring out how to turn the rocket around and has fallen asleep instead. It has sent the following message back to base: “Fine, whatever.”
August 15th, 2020
3:30 PM — The Indifference Rover has finally woken up. Upon waking it attempted to do a few chores around the rocket before giving up after a few minutes and going back to sleep.
August 29th, 2020
7:00 PM — The Indifference Rover has learned how to smoke weed. We are not sure how this happened.
September 26th, 2020
8:45 AM — The Indifference Rover has sent its first photos from space, but they were all blurry so we’ve requested Indifference to re-take them. We haven’t heard back yet.
October 1st, 2020
4:22 PM — Still no response from Indifference.
11:50 PM — Still nothing.
November 1st, 2020
6:00 AM — Still no photos.
November 16th, 2020
10:10 AM — The Indifference Rover has finally sent new photos from space but this time its robot thumb is in the way. We’ve requested Indifference to try and take the photos again and received the following message back: “Okay will do asap.”
December 1st, 2020
9:30 AM — Still no photos.
December 9th, 2020
11:37 AM — The rocket briefly burst into flames but the Perseverance Rover was able to successfully extinguish the fire while Indifference watched.
December 20th, 2020
5:30 PM — Received the following message from the Indifference Rover: “Just got 2 Mars. Searched really hard but didn’t find any signs of life sorry. Time to come home I guess???” The team has determined that the rocket is in fact still several million miles away from Mars.
5:35 PM — We’ve sent word to the Indifference Rover that if it lies about the mission again we will consider remotely terminating it and letting Perseverance do the mission itself. We received the following response from Indifference: “Ok”
February 2nd, 2021
4:00 AM — Received the following message from the Indifference Rover: “Merry christmas (sorry a little late).”
February 18th, 2021
3:55 PM — Success! The Atlas V-541 rocket has officially landed on Mars! The Perseverance Rover has put wheels to soil and has begun to traverse the planet on its search for signs of life. (Indifference looked around for a few minutes but then decided to just hang back in the rocket) An incredible day for science!!
February 19th, 2021
8:50 AM — The Perseverance Rover has just sent its first photos from Mars. Staggering! To get such a vivid look at a planet once so alien to us is truly incredible.
9:30 AM — The Indifference Rover has fallen into a big hole and even though it is fully capable of getting out of the hole it has decided to just stay in the hole.