JPL engineers drove a test rover into a specially prepared sandbox where it became embedded, simulating Spirit's situation on Mars.

Transcript:

Speaker Title: John Callas, Project Manager, Mars Exploration Rovers John Callas: This is John Callas at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with your Free Spirit update. What we did is to take our engineering test rover and drive it up into the new sandbox and then get it stuck, or embedded, just like Spirit is on Mars. And this involves maneuvering the rover around, driving the wheels to where the rover would sink in, and, and slide to the side downslope, much like we think Spirit is currently situated on Mars. What we want to be able to do is to experiment with different extraction techniques down here on Earth before we actually do them for real up on Mars. Our expectation is that it’ll take some time to get Spirit out. And so we’ll be able to get a better feel for that here with this facility as we explore these techniques and we see not only how well they work, but how long it will take for them to work. This is John Callas at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with your Free Spirit update.

Title: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
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