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Mars rover's wheel breaks as winter beckons


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Well the've done well though to get so far. They've been there for 2 years and it's hardly a hospitable climate. They were sposed to last just a few months if i remember correctly so a few years is blumming brilliant! The advantage of redundant systems though is that theres another rover going strong.

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I was wondering: Being a six-wheeler, perhaps it can simply lift the front wheel off the ground and run on five?

Nope. The front wheels can only fold whent he solar arrays are folded also. If it's free-wheeling, (so to speak), it shouldn't be a problem, except for the loss of drive torque. If it's frozen, it will affect mobility, and that's a problem.

You gotta look at the good news, though. It lasted for about 1.6 YEARS longer than it was designed to last. I'm not saying it's done just yet, but the amount of science they've got out of it is a great gift. Plus, there's Opportunity up there too, still chuggin'.

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