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After a Spirit Drive West of 'Home Plate'
04.20.09
 
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit drove 6.98 meters (22.9 feet) southeastward on the 1,871st Martian day, or sol, of the rover's mission on Mars (April 8, 2009). As usual since losing the use of its right-front wheel in 2006, Spirit drove backward, dragging the immobile wheel. The rover used its front hazard-avoidance camera after the drive to capture this view looking back at the ground covered.

For scale, the distance between the parallel wheel tracks is about 1 meter (40 inches).

The drive added to progress in trekking counterclockwise around a low plateau called "Home Plate." Spirit is driving through a valley on the west side of the plateau. Home Plate is not within this image. The hill on the horizon in the upper right is Husband Hill, the summit of which is about 750 meters (nearly half a mile) to the north of Spirit's position. Following this drive, Spirit experienced difficulties that prevented driving during the subsequent week.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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