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31-December-2009 NASA's Mars Rover has Uncertain Future as Sixth Anniversary Nears
Read more about 'NASAs Mars Rover has Uncertain Future as Sixth Anniversary Nears '
On Jan. 3, Spirit marks six years of unprecedented science exploration and inspiration, but the upcoming Martian winter could end the roving career of the beloved, scrappy robot.

22-December-2009 Right-Front and Right-Rear Wheels Sit Out Latest Drive
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Spirit's drive on Sol 2120 (Dec. 19, 2009) included commands for using all six wheels. However, the right-front wheel rotated less than 2 degrees and the right-rear wheel did not rotate at all.

17-December-2009 Right-Front Wheel Rotations
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Spirit's right-front wheel, which had stopped operating in March 2006, revolved with apparently normal motion during the first three of four driving segments on Sol 2117 (Wednesday, Dec. 16) but stopped early in the fourth segment of the drive.

15-December-2009 Unexpected Wheel-Test Results
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Diagnostic tests were run on Spirit's right-rear wheel and right-front wheel on Sol 2113 (Dec. 12, 2009).

10-December-2009 Rear Wheel Trouble Continues
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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.

07-December-2009 Further Tests Designed for Rover's Right-Rear Wheel
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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.

02-December-2009 Sandtrapped Rover Makes a Big Discovery
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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.

01-December-2009 Another Stall of Right-Rear Wheel Ends Drive
Read more about 'Another Stall of Right-Rear Wheel Ends Drive'
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).

25-November-2009 No Wheel Stall in Diagnostic Drive
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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.

23-November-2009 Third Extrication Drive Ends With Wheel Stall
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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).

20-November-2009 Team Sets Plan for Third Extrication Drive
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Another drive is planned for Spirit on Sol 2092 (Saturday, Nov. 21).

19-November-2009 Second Extrication Drive Yields Slight Progress
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Spirit successfully completed the first step of its planned two-step motion on Sol 2090 (Nov. 19).

18-November-2009 Second Planned Extrication Drive is Straight Ahead Again
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Because the first extrication drive for Spirit, on Sol 2088 (Nov. 17), stopped as soon as it began due to an exceeded tilt limit, 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.

17-November-2009 Tilt Parameters End First Extrication Drive
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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.

16-November-2009 Team Prepares to Uplink Commands to Spirit
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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.

30-October-2009 Amnesia-Like Behavior Returns on Spirit
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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.

19-October-2009 Team Runs Operational Test to Prepare for Extracting Spirit
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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.

05-October-2009 Squyres Wins Carl Sagan Medal For Public Outreach
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For his work making NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission a compelling saga for millions of people, Steven W. Squyres, the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy and principal scientific investigator for the mission, has received the 2009 Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society.

14-September-2009 Computer Modeling Supplements Dusty Testing
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Tests on Earth simulating Spirit's predicament on Mars have reinforced understanding that getting Spirit to rove again will be very difficult.

25-August-2009 Dust Storm Passing Over Spirit
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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.

21-August-2009 Second Test Rover Added to Driving Experiments
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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.

13-August-2009 Planned Rover Test to Run a Week or More
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Mars rover team members are planning a long-duration experiment with the test rover at JPL beginning next week.

07-August-2009 More Testing Before Driving on Mars
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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 for attempting to get out of the loose soil where the rover has partially embedded itself.

31-July-2009 Possible Meteorite Imaged by Opportunity Rover
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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.

30-July-2009 Free Spirit Testing Nearing Completion
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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. It is possible that in early August the first extraction attempts with Spirit rover, which is dug-in on Mars, might take place.

24-July-2009 Longer Tests Beginning
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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.

21-July-2009 Next Step: Combinations of Basic Moves
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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.

16-July-2009 Test Rover Checks Pivoting Technique
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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.

14-July-2009 Mars Dust Devil Has Colorful Effect in Image Series
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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.

13-July-2009 Rover Engineers Test More Maneuvers
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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.

10-July-2009 Tests Evaluating Crabwalk Moves
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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.

08-July-2009 Second Rover Test Maneuver is Backwards
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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.

06-July-2009 Rover Extraction Tests Begin
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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.

01-July-2009 Rock Under the Belly
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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.

30-June-2009 Test Rover Rolls In
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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.

26-June-2009 The Mixing Begins
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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.

25-June-2009 Mars Team Digs in To Free Spirit
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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.

29-April-2009 Hello, Earth! Hello, Mars!
Read more about 'Youth Has its Benefits. . . Even on Mars!'
Opportunity has seen many sights during her nearly 2000 sols on Mars, but recently came face-to-face (or wheel-to-rock) with the youngest crater ever seen by either Mars Exploration Rover!

15-April-2009 Martian Dust Storm near South Polar Cap
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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.

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