Mars rover plans its escape, out of the “sand-box”

After being stuck in soft soil on Mars for six months, Spirit, one of two NASA rovers on the red planet, is about to attempt an escape.

“It’s likely that this process will take months and we don’t even know if we’ll be successful,” says John Callas, project manager for Spirit and its twin rover Opportunity at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Spirit landed on Mars in January 2004 for what was originally planned as only a three-month mission.

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