Further Tests Designed for Rover's Right-Rear Wheel

Dec 08, 2009
An artist's concept portrays a NASA Mars Exploration Rover on the surface of Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University

(PhysOrg.com) -- A series of diagnostic tests on Spirit's right-rear wheel on sols 2104 and 2105 (Dec. 3 and 4) investigated stalls that occurred on Sol 2099 (Nov. 28) and earlier. The rover team cannot draw any conclusions at this point, but the results are not encouraging, and further tests are planned.

The recent tests included rotor-resistance tests at three temperatures and a one-radian (about 57 degrees) forward motion test. The resistance tests indicate anomalously high resistance in the motor winding at all three temperatures. However, a curious transition from anomalously low resistance to high resistance was observed very briefly on the very first resistance test.

The resistance remained high for the balance of all the testing. Control measurements on the left-rear wheel showed normal resistance for that actuator motor. For the forward wheel motion test, the right-rear wheel stalled immediately and did not produce any motion.

The plan ahead is to explore a set of hypotheses: possible failure, possible internal gearbox jam, possible external jam (e.g., a rock in the ). Commands being developed for Spirit's activities on sols 2109 and 2110 (Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 8 and 9) will include more diagnostics to explore these hypotheses.

Provided by JPL/ (news : web)

Explore further: NASA signs agreement with SpaceX for use of historic launch pad

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA Investigates Problems With Spirit

Oct 06, 2004

Engineers on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover team are investigating possible causes and remedies for a problem affecting the steering on Spirit. The relay for steering actuators on Spirit's right-front and lef ...

Spirit Completes Fourth Mile On Mars

Feb 14, 2006

Spirit is healthy and continues to make progress toward "Home Plate" after driving more than 150 meters (492 feet), taking images, making atmospheric observations, and analyzing geology.

Recommended for you

Vegetables on Mars within ten years?

Apr 15, 2014

The soil on Mars may be suitable for cultivating food crops – this is the prognosis of a study by plant ecologist Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen UR. This would prove highly practical if we ever decide to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

ESO image: A study in scarlet

This new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that ...

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...