July 7, 2009
NASA works on Spirit’s extraction
The U.S. space agency says it's using a test rover placed in a sandbox to simulate how best to get the rover, Spirit, extracted from loose Martian soil.
Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said they are using a special soil that simulates Spirit's predicament on Mars to assess possible maneuvers for getting Spirit onto firmer ground.
NASA said weeks of further testing and analysis are expected before engineers identify the best moves to command Spirit to make.
The rover became stuck in April in an area scientists dubbed
Troy. While awaiting extraction instructions, the rover is examining Troy's soil, NASA said.