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By Mary O’Keefe | July 2, 2009
Engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Tuesday filled a ramp full of powdery earth and slowly rolled a test rover onto the geological cocktail as they tried to simulate the rover Spirit’s unfortunate circumstance on Mars. Since May 6, the golf cart-sized Spirit has been embedded in an area on the west side of what scientists have named “Home Plate” on Mars. The rover’s wheels can still rotate but slip in the soft soil, so engineers won’t move it until they work out an extraction plan on Earth.
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By Joe Piasecki, The Valley Sun | October 29, 2010
The Mars rover Spirit has been stuck in sand for some 18 months, but that hasn't stopped JPL scientists from making new discoveries. Analysis of soil layers that the rover exposed while trying to break free of a Martian sand trap has turned up new evidence that liquid water once existed on the Red Planet. Just below the planet's dusty surface, water-soluble minerals were found layered below less-dissolvable minerals, leading the rover team to hypothesize that the water-soluble minerals were dissolved and then deposited by water percolating down from melting ice or snow.
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By Mary O’Keefe | July 2, 2009
Engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Tuesday filled a ramp full of powdery earth and slowly rolled a test rover onto the geological cocktail as they tried to simulate the rover Spirit’s unfortunate circumstance on Mars. Since May 6, the golf cart-sized Spirit has been embedded in an area on the west side of what scientists have named “Home Plate” on Mars. The rover’s wheels can still rotate but slip in the soft soil, so engineers won’t move it until they work out an extraction plan on Earth.
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