Martian Rover also in trouble!The Mars rover Opportunity has lost the ability to steer one of its wheels. While the vehicle can still move, the failure may make it harder to study rocks up close.
The rover has six wheels aligned in two rows and each of the four corner wheels has its own steering mechanism. The problem is with the front right wheel, which can still roll but is now stuck at a 7° inward angle. NASA rover project manager Jim Erickson says it is like a car losing its power steering.
“At this point, with this one actuator failed, it’s an inconvenience, nothing more,” says rover chief scientist Steven Squyres. But he adds that the failure is a reminder that the rovers will not run forever and that “we should continue to get every bit of science out of these that we can”.