A test setup at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory enables experiments with maneuvers being considered for use by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit to get Spirit out of soft soil where it has become embedded. In this image from Aug. 12, 2009, rover team members are moving a board used in getting the setup ready for the next test. From left: Matt Van Kirk, Julie Townsend, Tam Nguyen. Once the board is in place, the test crew applies weight to it to moderately compress the mixture of clay powder and diatomaceous earth being used as a simulation of the Martian soil underneath Spirit.
To see updates on the efforts to free the Spirit rover, visit the JPL Free Spirit website.