Spirit – Wheel Woes

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Mars Exploration Rover.  Source:  NASA/JPL

Mars Exploration Rover. Source: NASA/JPL

Meanwhile – down on rust colored surface – Spirit is looking a lot like me when I take to the links – that is to say stuck in a sand trap.

The problem is the plucky rover Spirit has a right rear wheel that has gone Tango Uniform (as in Toes Up). Three years ago Spirit’s right front wheel failed – so now the Rover has only one working drive wheel on the right side – making an extrication from the sand unlikely.

But the never say die team at JPL is still working on it – and during a recent troubleshooting session that long-broken front wheel actually moved a bit!

Prospects for any sort of full recovery remain bleak, however.  The best they may be able to do tilt Spirit so its solar arrays will still generate enough juice to stay alive during winter – which comes in May.

[vimeovid id=”8266606″]

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