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Updated: November 13, 2009 18:58 IST

Mars rover to attempt to free itself

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SPIRITED ROVER: NASA's Spirit has mired in sand for over six months in Mars. After months of study and simulation, the agency will attempt to free it. File photo
AP SPIRITED ROVER: NASA's Spirit has mired in sand for over six months in Mars. After months of study and simulation, the agency will attempt to free it. File photo

The Mars rover Spirit will soon try to drive itself out of a sand trap where it has been stuck for the past six months.

NASA is set to outline plans to try to free Spirit, a risky process that could take months. Details of the extraction attempt will be announced later. For the past several months, engineers have been busy testing different escape routes on Earth using prototype rovers.

Spirit and its twin Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004 and have outlasted their primary three-month mission. Spirit is the older of the two rovers and has spent five years and nine months exploring Mars.

While engineers try to free Spirit, its robotic twin Opportunity is headed toward a giant Martian crater called Endeavour.

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