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Spotlight
read the article 'Rear Wheel Trouble Continues'
December 10, 2009

Results of diagnostic tests on Spirit's right-rear wheel on Sol 2109 (Dec. 8, 2009) continue to indicate a troubled wheel, which may leave the rover with only four operable wheels.
read the article 'Rear Wheel Trouble Continues' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Further Tests Designed for Rover's Right-Rear Wheel'
December 7, 2009

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.
read the article 'Further Tests Designed for Rover's Right-Rear Wheel' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Sandtrapped Rover Makes a Big Discovery'
December 2, 2009

Homer's Iliad tells the story of Troy, a city besieged by the Greeks in the Trojan War. Today, a lone robot sits besieged in the sands of Troy while engineers and scientists plot its escape.
read the article 'Sandtrapped Rover Makes a Big Discovery' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Another Stall of Right-Rear Wheel Ends Drive'
December 1, 2009

Spirit's right-rear wheel stalled again on Sol 2099 (Nov. 28, 2009) during the first step of a two-step extrication maneuver. This stall is different in some characteristics from the stall on Sol 2092 (Nov. 21).
read the article 'Another Stall of Right-Rear Wheel Ends Drive' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'No Wheel Stall in Diagnostic Drive'
November 25, 2009

On Sol 2095 (Tuesday, Nov. 24), Spirit performed a set of diagnostic actions related to a stall of the right-rear wheel on the previous drive, three days earlier.
read the article 'No Wheel Stall in Diagnostic Drive' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Third Extrication Drive Ends With Wheel Stall'
November 23, 2009

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 wheel.
read the article 'Third Extrication Drive Ends With Wheel Stall' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Team Sets Plan for Third Extrication Drive'
November 20, 2009

Spirit successfully completed the first step of its planned two-step motion on Sol 2090 (Nov. 19).
read the article 'Team Sets Plan for Third Extrication Drive' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Second Extrication Drive Yields Slight Progress'
November 19, 2009

Another drive is planned for Spirit on Sol 2092 (Saturday, Nov. 21).
read the article 'Second Extrication Drive Yields Slight Progress' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Second Planned Extrication Drive is Straight Ahead Again'
November 18, 2009

The plan for an extrication drive on Sol 2090 (Nov. 19) will essentially be a repeat of the first drive plan, but with improved rover attitude knowledge.
read the article 'Second Planned Extrication Drive is Straight Ahead Again' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Tilt Parameters End First Extrication Drive'
November 17, 2009

The preliminary results from the first extrication drive for Spirit on Sol 2088 (Nov. 17, 2009) indicate the rover stopped less than 1 second after it began, sensing more vehicle lateral tilt than permitted.
read the article 'Tilt Parameters End First Extrication Drive' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Team Prepares to Uplink Commands to Spirit'
November 16, 2009

Driving commands are being prepared to instruct Spirit to attempt to drive forward. These are the first driving commands since Spirit became embedded in a Martian sandtrap approximately six months ago.
read the article 'Team Prepares to Uplink Commands to Spirit' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Amnesia-Like Behavior Returns on Spirit'
October 30, 2009

Until Oct. 24, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover had gone more than six months without an episode of amnesia-like symptoms like those that appeared on four occasions earlier this year.
read the article 'Amnesia-Like Behavior Returns on Spirit' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'A Mars Rover Named
October 30, 2009

NASA's next Mars rover, a super-capable robot named "Curiosity," will push Mars exploration to a new level.
read the article 'A Mars Rover Named  Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Team Runs Operational Test to Prepare for Extracting Spirit'
October 19, 2009

Engineers using test rovers on Earth to prepare for extracting the sand-trapped Spirit rover on Mars have added a new challenge to their preparations.
read the article 'Team Runs Operational Test to Prepare for Extracting Spirit' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Squyres Wins Carl Sagan Medal For Public Outreach'
October 5, 2009

The principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rovers is honored for excellence in communicating the mission to the public.
read the article 'Squyres Wins Carl Sagan Medal For Public Outreach' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Computer Modeling Supplements Dusty Testing'
September 14, 2009

Tests on Earth simulating Spirit's predicament on Mars have reinforced understanding that getting Spirit to rove again will be very difficult.
read the article 'Computer Modeling Supplements Dusty Testing' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Dust Storm Passing Over Spirit'
August 25, 2009

The amount of electricity generated by the solar panels on Spirit has been declining for the past several Martian days, or sols, as a regional dust storm moved southward and blocked some of the sunshine at Spirit's location.
read the article 'Dust Storm Passing Over Spirit' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Second Test Rover Added to Driving Experiments'
August 21, 2009

A second, lighter-weight test rover has entered the testing setup at JPL where rover team members are assessing strategy for getting Spirit out of soft soil where it is embedded on Mars.
read the article 'Second Test Rover Added to Driving Experiments' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Spring Training for the Rover Science Team'
August 19, 2009

Just as baseball players must train together before the season starts, the science team for "Curiosity" must be in top shape to operate the rover's 10 science instruments when it lands on Mars in 2012.
read the article 'Spring Training for the Rover Science Team' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Planned Rover Test to Run a Week or More'
August 13, 2009

Mars rover team members are planning a long-duration experiment with the test rover at JPL beginning next week.
read the article 'Planned Rover Test to Run a Week or More' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'JPL Blog: Five Things About Viewing Mars in August'
August 10, 2009

If you’re like me, you may have received an e-mail this summer telling you go outside on August 27 and look up in the sky. The e-mail, most likely forwarded to you by a friend or relative, promises that Mars will look as big as the moon on that date, and that no one will ever see this view again.
read the article 'JPL Blog: Five Things About Viewing Mars in August' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'More Testing Before Driving on Mars'
August 7, 2009

A review on Aug. 6 of test results to date yielded a decision to conduct further checkouts in an augmented testing set-up on Earth before beginning to send driving commands to Spirit.
read the article 'More Testing Before Driving on Mars' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Possible Meteorite Imaged by Opportunity Rover'
July 31, 2009

The Opportunity rover has eyed an odd-shaped, dark rock, about 0.6 meters (2 feet) across on the surface of Mars, which may be a meteorite.
read the article 'Possible Meteorite Imaged by Opportunity Rover' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Free Spirit Testing Nearing Completion'
July 30, 2009

Mars rover engineers at JPL are winding down testing of different escape maneuvers using a test rover in a sand box filled with soil to mimic the Martian surface.
read the article 'Free Spirit Testing Nearing Completion' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Longer Tests Beginning'
July 24, 2009

Mars rover team members have begun a new phase of testing at JPL -- using longer-duration experiments -- in their preparations for driving Spirit again on Mars.
read the article 'Longer Tests Beginning' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Next Step: Combinations of Basic Moves'
July 21, 2009

As the Mars rover team uses testing at JPL to evaluate possible ways to drive Spirit out of loose soil on Mars, the team is finishing tests of individual "building block" maneuvers and is about to begin stringing some of those together.
read the article 'Next Step: Combinations of Basic Moves' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Test Rover Checks Pivoting Technique'
July 16, 2009

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.
read the article 'Test Rover Checks Pivoting Technique' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Dust Devil Has Colorful Effect in Image Series'
July 14, 2009

Scientists have combined a trio of shots taken seconds apart through different colored filters to create a special-effects portrait of a moving dust devil on Mars.
read the article 'Mars Dust Devil Has Colorful Effect in Image Series' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Rover Engineers Test More Maneuvers'
July 13, 2009

Engineers checking possible rover movements to get Spirit out of the "Troy" sand trap on Mars are evaluating how a comparable rover at JPL fares in a crablike backward drive, with all four corner wheels turned 60 degrees toward the right.
read the article 'Rover Engineers Test More Maneuvers' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Tests Evaluating Crabwalk Moves'
July 10, 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.
read the article 'Tests Evaluating Crabwalk Moves' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Second Rover Test Maneuver is Backwards'
July 8, 2009

Engineers used straight-backward driving of a test rover on Earth on Wednesday, July 8, as they evaluate maneuvers that might be useful for getting Spirit out of a sandtrap on Mars.
read the article 'Second Rover Test Maneuver is Backwards' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Rover Extraction Tests Begin'
July 6, 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.
read the article 'Rover Extraction Tests Begin' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Rock Under the Belly'
July 1, 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.
read the article 'Rock Under the Belly' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Test Rover Rolls In'
June 30, 2009

After several days of preparing a sloped area of soft, fine soil to simulate Spirit's current sandtrap on Mars, the rover team drove a test rover into the material on June 30, 2009.
read the article 'Test Rover Rolls In' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'The Mixing Begins'
June 26, 2009

Rover team members mix materials to fill the testbed box. Once filled, the rover will be driven into the test area and set in place to mimic how the actual rover sits on Mars.
read the article 'The Mixing Begins' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Team Digs in To Free Spirit'
June 25, 2009

Mars team members have rolled up their sleeves and will be shaping a few tons of diatomaceous Earth and clay into an exact replica of the area where the Spirit rover is embedded on Mars.
read the article 'Mars Team Digs in To Free Spirit' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'The Rover Gets Strong-Armed'
June 12, 2009

The Mars Science Laboratory rover will sport the biggest, toughest robotic arm the red planet's ever seen! This super-limb must lift 34 kilograms (almost 75 pounds) of instruments to reach out and test martian rocks and soil, which may hold clues about whether Mars could have supported life.
read the article 'The Rover Gets Strong-Armed' Read More
Spotlight
read the article ''Curiosity,' Meet Clara'
June 8, 2009

Twelve-year-old Clara Ma flew from Kansas to JPL to meet and sign the next rover that will zoom millions of miles to Mars. The trip is Clara's prize for winning an essay contest in which she named the rover "Curiosity."
read the article ''Curiosity,' Meet Clara' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Spirit Takes a Peek at Her Belly'
June 3, 2009

A new image of Spirit's underbelly is helping engineers assess the rover's current state and plan her escape from soft soil. The panoramic mosaic of multiple images was taken by the microscopic imager instrument at the end of Spirit's robotic arm--the first time that imager has been used to assess the underside and wheels of the rover.
read the article 'Spirit Takes a Peek at Her Belly' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'JPL Blog: Got Water?'
May 19, 2009

A theme of Mars exploration is "Follow the Water," since understanding the history of water on our planetary neighbor will help us understand if there were environments favorable for life to occur and how climate has changed over time.
read the article 'JPL Blog: Got Water?' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Parachute Opening During Tests for Mars Science Laboratory'
April 22, 2009

Testing during March and April 2009 inside the world's largest wind tunnel, at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., qualified the parachute for NASA's next Mars rover.

The parachute for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, to be launched in 2011 and land on Mars in 2012, is the largest ever built to fly on an extraterrestrial mission.
read the article 'Parachute Opening During Tests for Mars Science Laboratory' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Martian Dust Storm near South Polar Cap'
April 15, 2009

This nearly global mosaic of observations made by the Mars Color Imager on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on April 2, 2009, shows billowing clouds of dust being lifted into the atmosphere by a storm near the edge of the seasonal polar cap of southern Mars.
read the article 'Martian Dust Storm near South Polar Cap' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Science Laboratory Parachute Qualification Testing'
April 14, 2009

The parachute for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory passed flight-qualification testing in March and April 2009 inside the world's largest wind tunnel, at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
read the article 'Mars Science Laboratory Parachute Qualification Testing' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Heavy Duty Trust Building'
March 28, 2009

Trust--it's vital for each step of the Mars Science Laboratory mission. Engineers must trust each other and all the tests they've done while building the rover.
read the article 'Heavy Duty Trust Building' Read More
Spotlight
read the article 'Mars Science Laboratory Talks, Rocks, Bakes and Chills'
February 24, 2009

Before leaving Earth, Mars Science Laboratory is really put to the test to make sure it can survive the trip to the red planet.
read the article 'Mars Science Laboratory Talks, Rocks, Bakes and Chills' Read More

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