Spirit Relays Self-Examination Data Back to Earth

While engineers here at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) try to sort out what ails the Spirit Mars rover, the robot patient is at least lending a helping hand in the diagnosis. Shortly before noon yesterday, Spirit did on its own what it had been told not to do. Ground controllers here were surprised to receive a spurt of data from Spirit via the Mars Odyssey orbiter — a NASA spacecraft circling the red planet.