Engineers used straight-backward driving of a test rover on Earth on Wednesday, July 8, as they evaluate maneuvers that might be useful for getting Spirit out of a sandtrap on Mars.
Mike Seibert and Sharon Laubach, engineers on the Mars Exploration Rover team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, check the exact position of a test rover in preparation for the next test of a possible maneuver for Spirit to use on Mars.
Engineers used straight-backward driving of a test rover on Earth on Wednesday, July 8, as they evaluate maneuvers that might be useful for getting Spirit out of a sandtrap on Mars. They had tested straight-forward driving first, then refreshed the sandbox setup simulating Spirit's situation before beginning the backward tests. Weeks of further testing and analysis are expected before engineers identify the best moves to command Spirit to perform. Meanwhile, Spirit is using its science instruments to examine the environment surrounding the rover on Mars.

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