Spirit Wiggles Into Position

October 17, 2005
Spirit Wiggles Into Position

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit completed a difficult, rocky ascent en route to reaching a captivating rock outcrop nicknamed "Hillary" at the summit of "Husband Hill."

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

At the end of the climb the robotic geologist was tilted almost 30 degrees. To get the rover on more solid footing for deploying the instrument arm, rover drivers told Spirit to wiggle its wheels one at a time.

The following animation shows Spirit's position before and after completing the wheel wiggle, during which the rover slid approximately 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) downhill. Rover drivers decided this position was too hazardous for deploying the instrument arm and subsequently directed Spirit to a more stable position before conducting analyses with instruments on the rover's arm.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Mars Rover Yielding New Clues While Lodged in Martian Soil

Related Stories

Free Spirit: Rock Under the Belly

July 2, 2009

Engineers placed a rock underneath the test rover at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., on July 1, 2009, to more closely simulate Spirit's predicament on Mars.

Mars Rover Update

March 26, 2009

In January 2004, NASA landed two identical robotic rovers named Spirit and Opportunity on the surface of Mars. The twins were primed for a brief 3-month mission to tell us a story of water and possibly life itself in the ...

Spirit Takes a Peek at Her Belly

June 4, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new image of Spirit's underbelly is helping engineers assess the rover's current state and plan her escape from soft soil. The panoramic mosaic of multiple images was taken by the microscopic imager instrument ...

NASA's Mars Rover Spirit Faces Circuitous Route

March 5, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Loose soil piled against the northern edge of a low plateau called "Home Plate" has blocked NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit from taking the shortest route toward its southward destinations for the upcoming ...

Recommended for you

Atom-sized craters make a catalyst much more active

November 24, 2015

Bombarding and stretching an important industrial catalyst opens up tiny holes on its surface where atoms can attach and react, greatly increasing its activity as a promoter of chemical reactions, according to a study by ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.