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Emily LakdawallaJanuary 7, 2009

Spirit moved!

Hallelujah! For the first time in almost an Earth year, amateur mars mapper Eduardo Tesheiner is able to scratch a tiny little line on his map of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's peregrinations across Gusev Crater. Here's the updated map, the first new one since sol 1466:

Spirit route map to Sol 1782

NASA / JPL-Caltech / U. Arizona / Eduardo Tesheiner

Spirit route map to Sol 1782
On Sol 1782 (Jan. 6, 2009), Spirit inched downward from its third winter haven, just off the north edge of Home Plate. It was the first significant motion in nearly an Earth year.

What? You can't see anything different from previous maps? Here's a zoom:

Detail from Spirit sol 1782 route map

NASA / JPL-Caltech / U. Arizona / Eduardo Tesheiner

Detail from Spirit sol 1782 route map
One needs to zoom way in on the Spirit route map to see the small motion made by the rover as it crept away from its third winter haven.

Spirit has slid downhill, and can no longer see up onto the top of Home Plate. And look, Spirit is about to cross its own tracks, made more than a thousand sols (that's nearly three Earth years!) ago. Over at Mars and Me, it's Spirit's sol 4, and Scott is actually in on a phone conversation with the President. Remarkable. Go read it. It's a fine example of where a little chutzpah can take you: "...So I did the sort of thing I never do: when everyone else filed out of the room, I casually got up and trailed along after them, as if I belonged...

Read more: Spirit, mission status, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

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Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

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