On Sunday, NASA Spirit rover mark six years since the beginning of its unparalleled research activities on the surface of the Red Planet. However, the upcoming Martian winter could immobilize the robot, turning it into a stationary research module.
Spirit landed on Mars on Jan. 3, and its twin Opportunity - January 24, 2004. ATVs have begun work, calculated only for three months, which turned into six years of earthly fascinating exploration of Mars. During this time, Spirit and Opportunity have made many surprising discoveries related to the Martian past and present.
Sand trap and stubborn wheel rover Spirit has led to the fact that the robot has lost the ability to move, and a team of scientists working with the device, not in a position to implement the planned strategy for the transition to winter mode of life support. Questionable even installing solar panels so as to provide at least a heating vital mechanisms rover during the brutal Martian winter.
The last attempt to free the rover from a sand trap December 26, 2009 was not a success. The unit plunged even deeper into the sand at 6 mm.