You Put Your Left Wheel In ... And You Shake It All About
Tough little mutha does what it's gotta do. Mars Rovers do SO continue to amaze!
- Maggie McKee
NASA's Mars rover Spirit has freed itself from the loose soil it had been stuck in for about two weeks, but over the next month it will have to navigate similarly treacherous terrain to reach a safe spot to ride out the coming Martian winter.
But on 28 November, it clambered out, after a series of short drives in which rover managers drove it first in one direction and then in another, "switchbacking" out of the troublesome spot.[Where do we go from here?]
Now it's off to a place nicked "Winter Haven 3" to deal with the Martian winter on a lower daily power diet. Remember that sand storm Spirit escaped a few months back? Yeah. The wee rover's solar panels are still a bit dusted up from that mess, so it's getting barely half the daily juice intake it had been able to squeeze outta Sol before then.
None the less, these mechs are continuing to blow our minds 3 years after their incredible touchdowns on the Red Planet. They're doing whatever it takes and NASA's folks keep finding more for them to accomplish.