Movies of Spirit’s Last Moves Before Winter

Even though the Spirit rover is stuck in a Martian sandtrap, the rover drivers were actually able to move her quite a bit, and therefore improving her chances of surviving the winter. This video shows recent drives by the Spirit rover from Jan. 14 to Feb. 4, 2010 (Sols 2145 to 2165), where the center of the rover approximately 13.4 inches (34 centimeters) backwards. Since Jan 26 (sol 2157), drive commands have concentrated on placing Spirit into a favorable tilt toward the sun as the Martian winter approaches.

6 Replies to “Movies of Spirit’s Last Moves Before Winter”

  1. In the last sequence, a large rock appears on the right side of the frame. Is that the same rock that at one point was assumed to be ‘hanging up’ on the bottom of Spirit’s undercarriage?

  2. agmartin – Thanks for the link.. looks like you’re right~

    Seemingly Spirit has moved further than in most of the previous couple dozen attempts? Perhaps digging itself deeper has changed the angle enough to serendipitously free it from that binding point? Maybe next spring she’ll get enough power to finally break free?
    .

  3. Now, now, no need to be modest:

    A little more context to these animations was provided by rover driver Scott Maxwell via his Twitter feed, which I’ve expanded on a bit in brackets:

    […]
    * In the animations, Spirit’s center moves [about] 34cm; the [left front] wheel moves [about] 80cm. “Look at our ‘stationary’ rover go!” said rover driver Kevin Talley.
    […]

    [My bold.]

    The dragging wheels drags. But that is a meter of motion, or 2-3 orders of magnitude more than the earlier motions measured in mm.

    There’s some Spirit left, I dare say!

    Btw Aqua, nice catch. Maybe we won’t know until local spring?!

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