NASA's rover Spirit is stuck on a rock, takes photo of rock

NASA's rover Spirit is stuck and the rover was able to take a picture of its underside. The rover that has far outlasted its original expected lifecycle has found itself high centered on top of a rock.

NASA engineers were able to rotate the microscopic imager to view the underbelly to take the photo shown below. The image is blurry because the imager was designed to take photos of objects at a distance of 6 centimeters (2.4 inches). Despite the fact that the image is out of focus and grainy in nature it does clearly show what the rover is stuck on top of and will hopefully assist in the demounting of the robot.

The Spirit rover landed on Mars on January 4, 2004 and has been exploring the surface ever since that successful landing. The rover has out performed its original intent and was only expected to survive for around 90 days. Five years later the rover finds itself stuck on a rock but still alive.

Engineers are optimistic that they can get the rover off of the stuck rock but being high centered on top of a rock is not easy to get one's self unstuck. The rover has survived a dust storm and a locked up wheel so a rock shouldn't be too big of a hurdle for its human counterparts on earth to overcome.

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29 Comments

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Anyone here watched Robot Wars? They need a SRIMEC (or whatever their silly acronym for self-righting mechanism was).

If it had one of these fitted underneath for such an occasion it would simply hurtle in the air free of the rock...


Over priced pieces of ****!.. I think if they prolly gave this project to one of our more popular computer companies.. they would have a better design.. better yet.., im sure Toyota or Honda would do a better job. Pathetic.. what a waste of tax payer money!

Did you even read the entire article? It's lasted more than five years longer than it should have, I'd say it's pretty well built!

dimithrak said,
Over priced pieces of ****!.. I think if they prolly gave this project to one of our more popular computer companies.. they would have a better design.. better yet.., im sure Toyota or Honda would do a better job. Pathetic.. what a waste of tax payer money!

Considering it was only designed to work for 90 days and they got 5+ years out of it, I don't think the design was that bad.

Anaron said,
Honda, Toyota, or any car company for that matter lack the technology and experience to send a spacecraft to Mars.


Honda is close...

Thats a Honda Jet a lightweight business class passenger jet (it cant even do sub orbital like spaceship one)

dont get me wrong Honda builds some great stuff but they are not even targeting spacecraft besides maybe building some parts for other manufactures.

Jaxkesa said,
LOL, so Honda made a jet...I wouldn't call that 'close' to sending a spacecraft to Mars....it's somewhat different ;)

Well, they also have a robot...

BTW, I was being somewhat snarky with the jet comment.

Jaxkesa said,
LOL, so Honda made a jet...I wouldn't call that 'close' to sending a spacecraft to Mars....it's somewhat different ;)

don't forget they are a private company, they can´t spend millions developing a pen to write in space like NASA did in the past. NASA as the US government funding them. They have to explain and justify the costs to their stock holders.

Note: the Russians solved the same problem with a pencil.

Jaxkesa said,
LOL, so Honda made a jet...I wouldn't call that 'close' to sending a spacecraft to Mars....it's somewhat different ;)

jingarelho said,
don't forget they are a private company, they can´t spend millions developing a pen to write in space like NASA did in the past. NASA as the US government funding them. They have to explain and justify the costs to their stock holders.

Note: the Russians solved the same problem with a pencil.

About that: http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

C�bra said,
rofl, genius. next mars rover will have a vibrator incorporated. :D

Why not? Vibrators aren't expensive, so have it one included so it can pleasure any eventual Mars life forms :D
I tell you they're just hiding away - they'd be much more likely to show if they knew there was a rover with a vibrator waiting for them.

would you hide if a large pink vibrator came upto you hi whats your name big boy i know i'd run a fricken mile in under a minute