Stuck Rover on Mars Climbs Slightly in Escape Attempt

NASA’s embattled Mars rover Spirit has managed its first successful, but ever-so-small, climb as it drives in reverse to escape a Martian sand trap that has plagued it for more than eight months.
Spirit lifted itself by nearly half an inch (just over 1 cm) during its latest two drive attempts this month, NASA announced Thursday. While that seems tiny, it’s the first upward motion for the rover since escape attempts began in November, the agency added.
The rover also moved about 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) backwards in the maneuvers, which took place on Jan. 14 and Jan. 16. Spirit’s left-middle wheel stalled on Tuesday during yet another drive attempt.
“The explanation here is that the rover’s rear wheels are climbing, raising the back of the rover,” NASA officials said in a statement. “Images from the rear hazard avoidance camera confirm this.”