Mars rover opportunity hits rough sand

June 3, 2006
Mars Exploration Rover

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has run into troublesome sands that have embedded its wheels.

Opportunity has been slowed in the sands of Meridiani Planum and has made very little progress after almost 24 meters of wheel spin, Space.com reported.

Plans are under way to examine the state of the rover.

Space.com reports Opportunity has been moving over sand ripples, finding traction between flat-lying rocks. The rover has been making its way towards the large depression Victoria Crater.

In April 2005, Opportunity got stuck in a sand ripple that was later dubbed "Purgatory Dune." Opportunity's current situation is said not to be as difficult as it was at Purgatory Dune, which required five weeks of planning and testing to free the vehicle.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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