Track of Right-Wheel Drag Vertical
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Track of Right-Wheel Drag (Vertical)

January 3, 2005
This 360-degree panorama combines several frames taken by the navigation camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit during the rover's 313th martian day (Nov. 19, 2004). The site, labeled Spirit site 93, is in the "Columbia Hills" inside Gusev Crater. The rover tracks point westward. Spirit had driven eastward, in reverse and dragging its right front wheel, for about 30 meters (100 feet) on the day the picture was taken. Driving backwards while dragging that wheel is a precautionary strategy to extend the usefulness of the wheel for when it is most needed, because it has developed more friction than the other wheels. The right-hand track in this look backwards shows how the dragging disturbed the soil. This view is presented in a vertical projection with geometric seam correction.

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