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Free Spirit "MARS"


Second Test Rover Added
to Driving Experiments
 
A second, lighter-weight test rover has entered the testing
setup at JPL where rover team members are assessing strategy
for getting Spirit out of soft soil where it is embedded on Mars.


The rover team has begun using a test rover that does
not carry a science payload or robotic arm, as do Spirit and
Opportunity on Mars, and the primary engineering test rover at JPL.
While the primary test rover's weight on Earth is greater than
Spirit's weight on Mars, the second rover is even lighter on
Earth and closer to the weight of Spirit on Mars.

Making comparisons between motions of the two test
rovers in duplicated drives will aid the rover team in
interpreting effects of differing gravity on rover mobility.
The testing team plans to run such comparisons both
in the soft, fluffy material being used to simulate the
soil at Spirit's current location and also on coarser,
crushed rock that offers better traction.




"There is no perfect Earth analog for Spirit's current situation,"
 
"There's less gravity on Mars, little atmosphere, and no moisture in
the soil where Spirit is. It is not anything like being stuck in sand
or snow or mud on Earth. Plus, since the rover moves only about
as fast as a tortoise, you cannot use momentum to help.
No rocking back and forth as you might do on Earth."

The comparison experiments with the two test-rover siblings
to Spirit and Opportunity precede a planned "dress rehearsal"
long-duration test of driving as far in the test setup as the
distance that Spirit would need to achieve on Mars to escape
its predicament at the site called "Troy."




The team has also made further assessments of the position
of a rock underneath Spirit relative to the rover's center of gravity. 
Part of the strategy for getting Spirit free will be to avoid getting in  
a position with the center of gravity directly over a rock touching the rover.







Commentaires sur cette page:
Commentaire de Cherokee, 17/09/2009, 23 11 32 (UTC):
Fantastique historie mon ami!



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