Nasa's Spirit rover signs off on Mars

Nasa's Spirit rover signs off on Mars

Summary: The space agency has finally given up hope on its Spirit rover, which landed on the red planet in 2004 and went on to make numerous significant scientific discoveries

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TOPICS: After Hours
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  • Mars landscape

    In 2005, Spirit sent back this image of an area that contained sulfur and possibly a trace of water. It's most likely a volcanic deposit formed around gas vents.

    Photo credit: Nasa


    See more space photos on ZDNet UK.

  • Nasa engineers work on Spirit replica

    A few months after it landed, Spirit's left front tyre began showing a problem by using much more energy than the others.

    Here, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) engineers Eric Aguilar (left) and Joe Melko work in a sandbox to find a way around the problem. The wheel eventually died in 2006 but Nasa scientists were able to keep the rover rolling on five wheels by driving it backwards and devising easier ways to turn.

    Photo credit: Nasa


    See more space photos on ZDNet UK.

  • Patch of silica on Mars

    On a positive note, the dead wheel dug up Martian soil that in turn led to Spirit's most impressive discovery — a patch of nearly pure silica. This was most likely caused by hot springs or steam vents.

    Photo credit: Nasa


    See more space photos on ZDNet UK.

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Topic: After Hours

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