As everyone knows, yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the Spirit rover on Mars. It had a 90 day expected lifetime and has "miraculously" managed to survive 4 times that. However, the only thing that I've ever heard of that would reduce the thing's expected life-cycle is dust accumulation on the solar panels.
I mean, if that's the only thing that's going to keep you from operating indefinitely, why wouldn't you just put in a little broom that can sweep the panels off??? Doesn't need to be particularly fancy, really, just a brush that moves back and forth across the panel surface.
I know, I know, I'm missing something terribly complex about it all (and yes, I know about the "mysterious carwash" effect). I just enjoy sounding curmudgeon-ish. Curmudgeon's always have the best blogs...
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