Spirit Rover Stuck in Martian Dirt

NASA’s Spirit rover has encountered a problem on Mars that is familiar to most drivers on Earth: it is stuck in dirt and spinning its wheels.
The five wheels that still rotate on the robot have been slipping severely in soft dirt during recent driving attempts, sinking the wheels about halfway into the ground.
The rover team of engineers and scientists has suspended driving Spirit temporarily while studying the ground around the rover and planning simulation tests of driving options with a test rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
“Spirit is in a very difficult situation,” said JPL’s John Callas, project manager for Spirit and its twin rover, Opportunity. “We are proceeding methodically and cautiously. It may be weeks before we try moving Spirit again. Meanwhile, we are using Spirit’s scientific instruments to learn more about the physical properties of the soil that is giving us trouble.”
Both Spirit and Opportunity have been trundling across the Martian surface for more than five years now, far surpassing their original three-month missions. Opportunity is currently on the opposite side of the planet from Spirit, making its way to its next target, Endeavour Crater.