Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mars rover driving again after weeks on hold - -

After nearly two months at a standstill, NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity has driven its first tentative meters with a partially stowed robotic arm.

The rover rolled both backwards and forwards Thursday, repositioning itself at a new science target and testing its ability to drive with its instrument-laden robotic arm in an elbow-out position, mission managers said.

“It’s good to be driving again,” Jim Erickson, rover project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told “It was sort of a combination between a test drive and going to an interesting target.”

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