Thursday, December 31, 2009

Spirit in trouble.

Looks like our little Spirit Rover could be digging it's grave. The little guy has been trying to crawl out of the soft ground, but just getting deeper and more stuck. The gimpy right front wheel had started turning again much to everyone's surprise, not much, but it's doing a little bit. Not enough to get out of the sand pit. The solar panels aren't in a good angle to survive the next winter. Predictions are that the rover could be lost by May due to lower sun angles. There was talk of just digging it down on one side to tip it toward the sun, but we'll see.
This comes nearly on the 6th Earth year on Mars. Spirit bounced down in Gusev Crater back on January 24, 2004. That seems like a LONG time ago!
There was some talk recently about if the rover could use it's arm to pull itself out. Nope, can't work. The arm is way too weak. Kind of like that skinny kid in school that could never climb the rope (uh...that was me).
(see the rover squirm in the photo)

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