Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Martian Winter Threatens NASA Rover

Billions of dollars and they get it stuck in the Sand?

NASA's six-wheeled robot needs to reposition its solar panels in order to stay alive.


Spirit is stuck in the sand on Mars' surface, and all of NASA's attempts to free it by remote control have failed to date.


"We need to lift the rear of the rover, or the left side, or both," said Ashley Stroupe, a remote Spirit driver at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, in Pasadena, Calif.


Spirit is currently facing south, but from its current location the winter sun will be mainly in Mars' northern sky.


"Lifting the rear wheels out of their ruts by driving backward and slightly uphill will help. If necessary, we can try to lower the front right of the rover by attempting to drop the right-front wheel into a rut or dig it into a hole," said Stroupe.

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