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.
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.