Opportunity has a new capability to make its own choices about whether to make additional observations of rocks that it spots on arrival at a new location.
After six years of unprecedented exploration of the Red Planet, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit no longer will be a fully mobile robot.
NASA's Mars exploration rover Opportunity is allowing scientists to get a glimpse deep inside Mars.
The list of remaining maneuvers being considered for extricating Spirit is becoming shorter.
NASA's Mars rover Spirit has been on the Red Planet for six years of unprecedented science exploration and inspiration for the American public.
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.
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.
Diagnostic tests were run on Spirit's right-rear wheel and right-front wheel on Sol 2113 (Dec. 12, 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.
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.
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).
After spinning the wheels for the equivalent of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) in the forward direction, the center of the rover moved approximately 12 millimeters (0.5 inch) forward, 7 millimeters (0.3 inch) to the left and about 4 millimeters (0.2 inch) down.
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.
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.
NASA will begin transmitting commands to its Mars exploration rover Spirit on Monday as part of an escape plan to free the venerable robot from its Martian sand trap.
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.
Tests on Earth simulating Spirit's predicament on Mars have reinforced understanding that getting Spirit to rove again will be very difficult.
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.
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.
Today marks the 2,000th Martian day, or sol, of what was initially planned as a 90-sol mission on Mars for NASA's Spirit rover.