Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now Join Now!

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

   Please leave this field empty
Blogs

See other posts from January 2010

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Brief rover update: "We do not believe [Spirit] is extractable."

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

2010/01/26 11:36 CST

Topics: mission status, Mars, Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit

EDIT: Here's my longer writeup on Spirit's transition to landerhood.

There's a press briefing going on right now that marks today, January 26, 2010, more than six years after she landed, the day that NASA decided that Spirit's roving days were over. Doug McCuistion, from NASA Headquarters, said "We do not believe [Spirit] is extractable." He said that while it's possible that future movement might "accidentally" extract the rover, with only four operable wheels it is not realistic to expect her to drive anywhere else even if she does pop out of the sand trap she's currently in.

What's ironic is that Spirit had actually been making very good progress in her last few sols of driving. But they have to focus on winter survival now, not extrication. That's partially good news, though -- although NASA thinks that JPL needs to quit trying to get the rover out of the trap, NASA also thinks that there is a lot of science value left in Spirit's future operations as a stationary lander. So it's worth making every effort now to help Spirit survive the coming winter so that she can do science in the spring.

There is much more for me to write on this, and I will try to get a post done later today, so stay tuned for more.

 

Or read more blog entries about: mission status, Mars, Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

JOIN THE
PLANETARY SOCIETY

Our Curiosity Knows No Bounds!

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

Join Us

Featured Images

Curiosity at Mount Remarkable from the ground and from orbit, sol 601

Unusual paper-thin erosion of a rock seen by Curiosity, sol 601
Navcam panorama of Mount Remarkable at the Kimberley, including planned drill location, sol 606
Navcam view of the proposed Curiosity Kimberley drill location, sol 609
More Images

Featured Video

View Larger »

Fly to an Asteroid!

Travel to Bennu on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft!

Send your name

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!