Saturday, December 29, 2007

Spirit's Winter Position

Crossing the Winter Finish Line ... for Now

Human explorers would be hard pressed to show more persistence than NASA's Mars rover Spirit. After weeks of careful driving with a broken front wheel, Spirit finally made it to a north-facing slope of "Home Plate."

The rover gradually descended over the north edge to get into position, as shown here, tilting its solar panels 13 degrees toward the sinking winter Sun to maximize power. Rover drivers plan to continue nudging Spirit forward, increasing the tilt, to track the Sun as it moves lower in the northern sky.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Hazard avoidance camera

No comments: