Stuck Mars Rover About to Die?

Built to rove for 90 days, Spirit has lasted six years on Mars. But now it's stuck and may lose power by May. Even standing still, though, Spirit can do a surprising amount of science, NASA says. Video.

Built to rove for 90 days, Spirit has lasted six years on Mars. But now it's stuck and may lose power by May. Even standing still, though, Spirit can do a surprising amount of science, NASA says.



© 2010 National Geographic; Video courtesy NASA

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Unedited Transcript:

NASA’s Mars rover Spirit passed its six-year anniversary January 3rd, but the upcoming Mars winter may spell the end for the ‘all-terrain’ vehicle.

Last year, Spirit’s wheels broke through a crusty Mars surface layer and became trapped in the loose sand hidden underneath. Here, a NASA scale model mockup is seen trying to maneuver out of the predicament.

Latest attempts to recover the real rover have resulted in it sinking deeper in the Martian soil.

Spirit’s twin rover, Opportunity, landed

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