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Related Feature Stories.

Block Island in Sight 7/31/09 - Possible Meteorite Imaged by Opportunity Rover
The Opportunity rover has eyed an odd-shaped, dark rock, about 0.6 meters (2 feet) across on the surface of Mars, which may be a meteorite.

Spirit rover testing 7/30/09 - Free Spirit Testing Nearing Completion
Mars rover engineers at JPL are winding down testing of different escape maneuvers using a test rover in a sand box filled with soil to mimic the Martian surface.

Rover team members discuss the next step in preparing for a new phase in testing of possible moves for getting NASA's Mars rover Spirit out of a sandtrap on Mars. 7/24/09 - Longer Tests Beginning
Mars rover team members have begun a new phase of testing at JPL -- using longer-duration experiments -- in their preparations for driving Spirit again on Mars.

Mars Exploration Rover team members tested how altering the order in which individual wheels turn for steering affects how those turns dig the wheels deeper into soft soil. 7/21/09 - Free Spirit: Next Step: Combinations of Basic Moves
As the Mars rover team uses testing at JPL to evaluate possible ways to drive Spirit out of loose soil on Mars, the team is finishing tests of individual "building block" maneuvers and is about to begin stringing some of those together.

In this view from behind a test rover, the rear wheels of the rover are turned toward the left, and the left-front wheel is turned toward the the right. 7/16/09 - Test Rover Checks Pivoting Technique
The Mars rover team is using a test rover at JPL to assess various extraction techniques that might get Spirit out of the loose soil of "Troy" on Mars.

the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit was taking exposures with different color filters during the 1,919th Martian day 7/14/09 - Mars Dust Devil Has Colorful Effect in Image Series
Scientists have combined a trio of shots taken seconds apart through different colored filters to create a special-effects portrait of a moving dust devil on Mars.

Rover team members prepare an experiment for assessing how a test rover moves when embedded in loose soil and commanded to drive backward with wheels turned. 7/13/09 - Free Spirit: Rover Engineers Test More Maneuvers
Engineers checking possible rover movements to get Spirit out of the "Troy" sand trap on Mars are evaluating how a comparable rover at JPL fares in a crablike backward drive.

Mars Exploration Rover team members prepare a testing setup for the Spirit rover. 7/10/09 - Tests Evaluating Crabwalk Moves
On firm ground, NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers can make crablike moves by turning all four steerable wheels to the same side angle, then rotating the wheels either forward or backward.

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. 7/8/09 - Second Rover Test Maneuver Is Backwards
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.

rover driver Paolo Bellutta measures how much the rover moved sideways, downslope, during the maneuver. 7/6/09 - Rover Extraction Tests Begin
Using a test rover in a sandbox at JPL with special soil simulating Spirit's predicament on Mars, engineers are assessing possible maneuvers for getting Spirit out and onto firmer ground.

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