Curiosity Mars Rover Spins Its Wheels (w/ Video)

July 13th, 2010 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
Engineers just installed six new wheels on the Curiosity rover, and rotated all six wheels at once on July 9, 2010. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Engineers just installed six new wheels on the Curiosity rover, and rotated all six wheels at once on July 9, 2010. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(PhysOrg.com) -- The wheels that will touch down on Mars in 2012 are several rotations closer to spinning on the rocky trails of Mars.

This video clip shows engineers in the JPL clean room where the rover is being assembled as they put all six wheels into motion for the first time.

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Curiosity spinning its wheels

Engineers raised the rover just as a car mechanic would hoist a car to check the wheels, and started the "engine" to get the rotating. The wheel mobility system has 10 motors in all-four for steering the rover and six for driving. During this test, all 10 motors ran in every direction. Each wheel spun forward and backwards.

Next up for Curiosity is a series of "tune-ups" to prep the rover for driving.

Provided by JPL/NASA

"Curiosity Mars Rover Spins Its Wheels (w/ Video)." July 13th, 2010. http://phys.org/news198253096.html