Test Mars Rover Checks Pivoting Technique

July 17, 2009
In this view from behind a test rover at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., the rear wheels of the rover are turned toward the left, and the left-front wheel is turned toward the the right.

The Mars rover team is using a test rover at JPL to assess various extraction techniques that might get Spirit out of the loose soil of "Troy" on Mars.

One of the maneuvers being run with the test rover involves turning the rear wheels toward the left while the left-front wheel is turned toward the right, and driving forward to pivot around the inoperable right-front wheel.

Engineers and scientists on the rover team are evaluating several repeats of this forward-right-arc maneuver in the at JPL as part of a weeks-long series of tests to identify maneuvers that might help Spirit.

Meanwhile is using abundant power from its solar panels, recently cleaned by Martian winds, to examine the composition of soil layers at Troy and make daytime and nighttime observations.

See also: Rover Tests Evaluating Crabwalk Moves at www.physorg.com/news166727314.html

Provided by JPL/NASA (news : web)

Explore further: Spirit rover's wheels stuck in soft Martian dirt

Related Stories

Spirit rover's wheels stuck in soft Martian dirt

May 12, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The five wheels that still rotate on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit have been slipping severely in soft soil during recent attempts to drive, sinking the wheels about halfway into the ground.

Mars and Earth Activities Aim to Get Spirit Rolling Again

May 19, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's rover project team is using the Spirit rover and other spacecraft at Mars to begin developing the best maneuvers for extracting Spirit from the soft Martian ground where it has become embedded.

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.

Rover Extraction Tests Begin (w/ Video)

July 7, 2009

Using a test rover in a sandbox at JPL with special soil simulating Spirit's predicament on Mars, engineers are assessing possible maneuvers for getting Spirit out and onto firmer ground.

Rover Tests Evaluating Crabwalk Moves

July 13, 2009

On firm ground, NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers can make crablike moves by turning all four steerable wheels to the same side angle, then rotating the wheels either forward or backward.

Recommended for you

Image: The ghost of a dying star

August 5, 2015

This extraordinary bubble, glowing like the ghost of a star in the haunting darkness of space, may appear supernatural and mysterious, but it is a familiar astronomical object: a planetary nebula, the remnants of a dying ...

Will SETI's unprecedented new program finally find E.T.?

August 4, 2015

Stephen Hawking, Frank Drake and dozens of journalists gathered at the Royal Society in London last week to hear astronomers announce a ground-breaking new project to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life called "Breakthrough ...

Galaxies show appetite for growth

August 4, 2015

The extent to which galaxies consume one another has been revealed in research. Findings from the study help to explain how galaxies such as the Milky Way were formed.

Tracking a mysterious group of asteroid outcasts

August 4, 2015

High above the plane of our solar system, near the asteroid-rich abyss between Mars and Jupiter, scientists have found a unique family of space rocks. These interplanetary oddballs are the Euphrosyne (pronounced you-FROH-seh-nee) ...

0 comments

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.