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Rover Team Tests Mars Moves on Earth

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Rover engineers check how a test rover moves in material chosen to simulate some difficult Mars driving conditions.
Rover engineers check how a test rover moves in material chosen to simulate some difficult Mars driving conditions.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL
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Mars rover engineers are using a testing laboratory to simulate specific Mars surface conditions where NASA's rover Opportunity has spun its wheels in a small dune. Careful testing is preceding any commands for Opportunity to resume moving to get out of the dune and continue exploring.

The rover team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has cooked up recipes combining various sandy and powdery materials for the best simulation on Earth of the dune where Opportunity dug itself in to wheel-hub depth last week. The team has not asked Opportunity to turn its wheels at all since the rover bogged down during a drive on April 26.

Links to More Information

JPL - Rover Team Tests Mars Moves on Earth

USGS Astro - Mars Exploration Rover Project