Spirit, our poor little Mars rover, has been stuck in sand for the past six months with a broken front wheel. But NASA has a rescue plan. Joe Palca has the story on All Things Considered today, so be sure to tune in.
The fact that Spirit has even lasted this long is quite the technological marvel. Its mission was designed to last 90 days, but the craft will celebrate its six-year anniversary in January. In that time, Spirit and its twin rover, Opportunity, have captured more than a quarter-million images.
Jim Bell, professor of astronomy at Cornell, was in charge of primary camera photography for the Spirit and Opportunity rover missions to Mars and put many of those photos in a book, Postcards From Mars. He was the first to take on the painstaking task of editing, cropping and processing these images, many of which are larger than 100 megabytes! They provide a unique view of what life is like on Mars, even from a sand trap.
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