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Nasa concedes defeat over Spirit

The US space agency concedes defeat in its battle to free the Spirit rover from its Martian sand trap.
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NASA has decided to leave the Spirit rover in the sand trap for the coming Martian winter.
It will be used as a stationary observatory.

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This image was taken by the Spirit rover on Sol 2154.

spiSol2154b.jpg
Expand (144kb, 1024 x 1017)
Credit: NASA/JPL

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NASA will host a media teleconference at 18:00 GMT (13:00 EST) on Tuesday, 26th January,  to discuss the status of the agency's Mars rover Spirit.

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The rover team has begun driving Spirit backward as next technique for attempting to extricate the rover from the sand trap where it is embedded. The first two backward drives produced about 6.5 centimetres of horizontal motion and lifted the rover slightly.
Spirit performed the first backwards drive (toward the south) on Sol 2045 (Jan. 14, 2010). Until then, all drives since extrication attempts began two months earlier had been with forward driving, with Spirit facing northward. The rover first entered its present location driving backward in April 2009. The backward driving in recent days includes the additional technique of steering the wheels side-to-side before performing each step.

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This image was taken by the Spirit rover on Sol 2118.

Spirsol2118b.jpg
Expand (189kb, 1024 x 768)
Credit: NASA/JPL

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Six years ago on 4 January (GMT), Nasa's Deep Space Network picked up a signal sent 170 million km across the Solar System to Earth.
The Spirit rover had landed on Mars.

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Mars Rovers Begin Year 7 on Mars
NASA's Mars rover Spirit will mark six years of unprecedented science exploration and inspiration for the American public on Sunday. However, the upcoming Martian winter could end the roving career of the beloved, scrappy robot.
Spirit successfully landed on Mars at 04:35 UT, 4th January, 2004, and its twin Opportunity arrived at 05:05 UT, 25th January, 2004. The rovers began missions intended to last for three months but which have lasted six Earth years, or 3.2 Mars years.

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NASA's Mars rover Spirit will mark six years of unprecedented science exploration and inspiration for the American public on Sunday. However, the upcoming Martian winter could end the roving career of the beloved, scrappy robot.
Spirit successfully landed on the Red Planet at 8:35 p.m. PST on Jan. 3, 2004, and its twin Opportunity arrived at 9:05 p.m. Jan. 24, 2004.

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