Status Report

NASA’s Spirit Rover Begins to Rotate

By SpaceRef Editor
January 13, 2004
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View Animation (5.5 MB animated GIF) (1.4 MB animated GIF)

This animation shows the view from the rear hazard avoidance cameras on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit as the rover turns 45 degrees clockwise. This maneuver is the first step in a 3-point turn that will rotate the rover 115 degrees to face west. The rover must make this turn before rolling off the lander because airbags are blocking it from exiting from the front lander pedal. Before this crucial turn took place, engineers instructed the rover to cut the final cord linking it to the lander. The turn took around 30 minutes to complete.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL

SpaceRef staff editor.