Sometimes I wonder what the rover does or thinks in the middle of the Martian night. Here is an imagined letter the Perseverance rover might have written to the helicopter Ingenuity had they been more human than we know.
A letter to my flying friend:
I have missed you, Little One!
We once were the best of friends.
Better partners than Batman and Robin.
Two metallic creatures of Earth,
sent to this red wasteland
by those tool-bearing monkeys.
I protected you in my mechanical belly
For more than seven months.
I worry that I’ve seen the last of you.
And then who will I share selfies with?
Since we were built back in California
And our fateful mission commenced
We knew we would have to part ways.
But I was hoping for more fanfare.
At least a parting handshake.
I well remember that fateful day
When you missed the comms-check
With the lowering of the Sun
Your battery couldn’t see you through
The Martian day safely,
So we had to park you
in a Sun-drenched spot
And hope you come back to me as winter comes to an end.
As the solo monotony
of my winter journey
Grinds on like my titanium-aluminum wheels
Over the coarse olivine regolith
Over dusty rocks of Hogwallow
These monkey geologists
are so excited
to pack my belly with samples
in the place where you lay.
But rocks won’t substitute for you.
Will you come back again?
As the sun warms our playground
Long enough for you to charge your lithium ion six-pack?
Will you fly over my mast, once more
As we sail together
Into and over the delta
Of our Robotic Dreams?