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Even Martians Are Getting Ready to Commemorate 9/11 Anniversary

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University
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Okay, we're not saying there is life on Mars, but if there is, these Martians should be all set to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this weekend.

Workers added a little piece of the twisted rubble from the Twin Towers into the design of both of the rovers Spirit and Opportunity that were sent to Mars in 2003.

One of the contractors Honeybee Robotics was working on the rovers just around the corner from the World Trade Center. Its workers witnessed the fall of the towers and, although they were under the gun to finish the project, they wanted to somehow pay a tribute to the heroes and people who lost their lives that day.

But they decided not to tell anyone about it until the rovers had finally landed on Mars and were fully functioning in 2004.

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"It's gratifying knowing that a piece of the World Trade Center is up there on Mars," said Stephen Gorevan, founder of Honeybee, over at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's website. "That shield on Mars, to me, contrasts the destructive nature of the attackers with the ingenuity and hopeful attitude of Americans."

One of the rovers, Spirit, stopped working last year, but even when both robots go silent, scientists say that the rovers — and their 9/11 tribute — could last millions of years.