Join Donate

Emily LakdawallaDecember 17, 2009

Watch that front wheel spin!

Holy cow, look at that right front wheel spin. I am alternately amazed and horrified by this animation. Spirit's been dragging that wheel as an anchor for years. Ridiculously, it has come back to life, and is spinning fine. But of course wheels shouldn't spin in place; they should roll forward. Spirit has seemingly traded one deeply buried functioning wheel for its unburied nonfunctioning wheel. The right rear wheel, which is totally buried, still shows no motion as far as I know. That pretty much defines the word "anchor." Spirit's still in deep trouble. But if a dead wheel can come back to life, who can say what's going to happen next? Stay tuned!

A sol 2117 spin of Spirit's front wheels

NASA / JPL / animation by Eduardo Tesheiner

A sol 2117 spin of Spirit's front wheels
On sol 2117, the right front wheel spun and spun, improbably resurrected from death. However, little forward progress was apparently made that day.

We know you love reading about space exploration, but did you know you can make it happen?

Consider a gift to our Space Policy and Advocacy program to fuel more missions, more science, and more exploration.

Read more: pretty pictures, amateur image processing, Spirit, Mars Exploration Rovers, spacecraft, Mars, animation

You are here:
Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla (2017, alternate)
Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

Comments & Sharing
astronaut on Phobos
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Mars
More Space Exploration

More Missions. More Science. More Exploration. Your support is essential and leads to the joy of discovery.

Donate