Further Tests Designed for Rover's Right-Rear Wheel

December 8, 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: Rover Spirit: Another Stall of Right-Rear Wheel Ends Drive

Related Stories

Free Spirit: Third Extrication Drive Ends With Wheel Stall

November 23, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Spirit experienced a wheel stall with the right-rear wheel during the second step of a two-step drive on Sol 2092 (Saturday, Nov. 21). This is not the same wheel that stalled on Sol 1899 (May 6), the left-middle ...

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.

NASA Investigates Problems With Spirit

October 6, 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 left-rear wheels ...

Spirit Completes Fourth Mile On Mars

February 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

Evidence found of white dwarf remnant after supernova

August 18, 2017

An international team of space scientists has found evidence of what they believe is a remnant of a type Iax supernova—a white dwarf moving in a way that suggests it was blown across part of the universe by the power of ...

Scientists improve brown dwarf weather forecasts

August 18, 2017

Dim objects called brown dwarfs, less massive than the sun but more massive than Jupiter, have powerful winds and clouds–specifically, hot patchy clouds made of iron droplets and silicate dust. Scientists recently realized ...

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.