Test Mars Rover Checks Pivoting Technique

Jul 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 phys.org/news166727314.html

Provided by JPL/NASA (news : web)

Explore further: NASA spacecraft prepares for March 12 launch to study earth's dynamic magnetic space environment

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