Spirit Rover Makes Progress

A little good news for Spirit! The rover successfully moved; not very much, but it’s the first step of a planned two-step motion to try and get Spirit free from a sand trap on Mars. On Sol 2090 (Nov. 19), the rover spun its wheels for the equivalent of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) in the forward direction, and the center of the rover moved approximately 12 millimeters (0.5 inch) forward, 7 millimeters (0.3 inch) to the left and about 4 millimeters (0.2 inch) down. Again, not much, but it’s the first good news and good movement the rover has had in months.

Small forward motion was observed with the non-operable right front wheel, and the left front wheel showed indications of climbing, despite the center of the rover moving downward. These motions are too small to establish any trends at this time.

The drive plan had imposed a limit of 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) motion in any direction. The second step of the drive was not performed, because Spirit calculated it had exceeded that limit.

Source: JPL

The data downlink volume from the rover was much better than expected, with all drive-related imagery being received. The team is continuing to analyze results from the drive.

5 Replies to “Spirit Rover Makes Progress”

  1. Kick it into six wheel drive and lets blow this popsicle stand! (easier said than done)

    Keep on keepin’ on Spirit!

  2. The doctor Who episode Waters on Mars had this rover equipped with rockets. So maybe this is a good idea for the next rover. LOL

  3. Impressive that they can detect such small motions.

    I have to say, that I’m not optimistic after having finally looked at some of the images the other day. Those wheels are in deeeeeeeep.

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