July 13, 2010
The wheels that will touch down on Mars in 2012 are several rotations closer to spinning on the rocky trails of Mars.
This video clip shows engineers in the JPL clean room where the rover is being assembled as they put all six wheels into motion for the first time.
Engineers raised the rover just as a car mechanic would hoist a car to check the wheels, and started the "engine" to get the wheels rotating. The wheel mobility system has 10 motors in all-four for steering the rover and six for driving. During this test, all 10 motors ran in every direction. Each wheel spun forward and backwards.
Next up for Curiosity is a series of "tune-ups" to prep the rover for driving.
Learn more about Curiosity at: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ .
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.