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A Bit More Testing Before Next Driving Opportunity For Spirit

Panelists in a video conference on Aug. 7, 2009, reviewed results to date from testing possible maneuvers to use in driving NASA's Mars Rover Spirit away from loose soil where the rover has become embedded. Further testing at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, is planned before commanding Spirit to begin moving from its current location. In this image from the review session, JPL engineers Frank Hartman and Jacob Matijevic view a projected map of Spirit's location, informally named "Troy," and nearby features on Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 10, 2009
A review on Aug. 6 of test results to date yielded a decision to conduct further checkouts in an augmented testing set-up on Earth before beginning to send driving commands to Spirit for attempting to get out of the loose soil where the rover has partially embedded itself.

The ample power available to Spirit due to wind cleaning dust off of its solar panels has removed the initial urgency for getting the rover moving toward a winter haven site.

The rover science team has not completed the analysis the soil layers at Spirit's current location.

The review pointed to additional types of position measurements and analysis that could make further testing useful in mapping the strategy for freeing Spirit.

No specific date has been set for Spirit to resume driving.

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Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 05, 2009
The Opportunity rover has eyed an odd-shaped, dark rock, about 0.6 meters (2 feet) across on the surface of Mars, which may be a meteorite. The team spotted the rock called "Block Island," on July 18, 2009, in the opposite direction from which it was driving. The rover then backtracked some 250 meters (820 feet) to study it closer. Scientists will be testing the rock with the alpha ... read more







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