But that doesn’t mean they’re expecting much. Even though NASA has spent half a year planning how to get the rover out of the loose sand it’s stuck in, every step will be dependent on what happens during the previous one. Right now NASA only has six forward rotations of Spirit’s wheels planned. They anticipate extreme slippage, and will have to re-evaluate the next steps once that first minuscule motion is completed.
If work continues at that pace, it’s easy to see why escape efforts are planned to last until 2010. Even if Spirit can’t get out of the sand trap that swallowed it, there’s still plenty of good the rover can do while stationary. Just know that, whatever happens, we’re all pulling for you little buddy. [Network World via Slashdot]