Mars Rover Stuck in Deep Sand, says NASA

Update 3: (June 3rd, 2009): Mars Spirit Rover Snaps Photographs of Her Underbelly
Update 2: (May 29th, 2009): A new article describing recently released details on the Spirit mars rover has been published.
Update 1: (May 21st, 2009):Mars Rover Update

Earlier this month, Spirit, one of NASA’s Mars rovers, became lodged in deep sand. Shown in the pictures below is a photo of Spirit’s stuck wheel, and a photo of NASA engineers working to find the best method of freeing the aging rover.

NASA engineers work on methods to free the stuck rover. Image: NASA

NASA engineers work on methods to free the stuck rover. Image: NASA


Spirit’s mission is now on it’s 1909 ‘sol’, or Martian day. A martian day is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds long. Earlier in Spirit’s life, the rover lost functionality in one of its wheels, forcing NASA engineers to drive the robot backwards.


NASA's Mars Spirit rover's wheel is shown almost entirely submersed in Martian sand, on sol 1899. Image: NASA

NASA's Mars Spirit rover's wheel is shown almost entirely submersed in Martian sand, on sol 1899. Image: NASA

Spirit reported problems on May 1st, 2009, when its onboard cameras detected that the rover had not moved as far as it should have. This anti-slip feature notices when the rover does not go as far forward as it should on the Martian surface when the wheels turn.

Engineers stopped the rover while they work out the best method of freeing the aging rover. This process could take several weeks.

3 responses to “Mars Rover Stuck in Deep Sand, says NASA”

  1. Spirit Rover Update - Still Stuck, But NASA is Working on it. | Robotics Blog

    […] about the nature of how Spirit became stuck. You may remember our previous report on the stuck mars rover showing Spirit’s front wheel stuck deep in the sand. In this press release, NASA indicates […]

  2. james wigley

    can you see the ufo in the sky when zooming in middle to top of screen

  3. james wigley

    sol 1899. Image: NASA ufo in the martian sky watching the stuck rover.
    possibly another one about inch below and slightly offset.

Leave a Reply

Robotics News Blog