Stuck Spirit Rover Moves!

by Nicholos Wethington on November 9, 2009

Spirit makes a first, small step on the way to getting out! Image Credit: NASA / JPL / animation by Eduardo Tesheiner The Spirit Rover, which has had its wheels stuck for 145 Martian sols, has finally moved! Though she’s far from being extricated from her current position, this is the first time that she’s budged in quite a while. The Mars rover driving team is working on ways to get Sprit out, and this recent move was just them getting Spirit’s wheels in alignment for an upcoming procedure to free her from the sand trap she’s stuck in. But it’s a start!

As Emily reported over at the Planetary Society Blog, this is the “First drive sequence in 145 sols”, according to the rover driver Scott Maxwell on Twitter. The team is getting ready to start extricating Spirit.

The rover team has been working diligently on ways to get Spirit free from the sand that the rover has been stuck in since April. Given that the rover has been having memory problems - the most recent was October 30th – this will be an extraordinary challenge.

Here are some more animations of Spirit’s most recent move:

This is from Spirit's forward hazcam, from sols 2078 and 2079. You can see the buried wheel in the bottom left portion of the image. Credit: NASA / JPL / animation by Damien Bouic

This is from Spirit's forward hazcam, from sols 2078 and 2079. You can see the buried wheel in the bottom left portion of the image. Credit: NASA / JPL / animation by Damien Bouic

Spirit's right rear hazcam from sols 2072 to 2078. Image Credit: NASA / JPL / animation by fredk

Spirit's right rear hazcam from sols 2072 to 2078. Image Credit: NASA / JPL / animation by fredk

NASA will be giving out further details of their plan at a press conference this Thursday, November 12th , so be sure and check back here for more specific information on the escape plan for Spirit!

Source: Planetary Society Blog

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