NASA Loses Spirit, But Has Hope For Opportunity
by Bryden Nordness, age 10
Two rovers, or robots, named Spirit and Opportunity were sent by NASA to Mars seven years ago. Both rovers were designed to discover the secrets of Mars and to see if there is life on the planet.
Opportunity, the second rover that NASA sent to space, is still up and active. Opportunity just finished exploring the Santa Maria part of Mars.
On March 22, 2010, NASA stopped getting signals from Spirit, the first robot sent up to explore Mars by NASA. Spirit’s signals stopped because it got stuck in a sand trap. Scientists now know that when Spirit got stuck in 2009, it was unable to tilt towards the sun’s rays. As Spirit is a solar-powered vehicle, when winter approached, it lost power and went into hibernation mode. The last time that NASA was able to contact Spirit was in March 2010.
NASA scientists are currently trying to get Spirit up and running again. If they aren’t able to get Spirit to work again, scientists will be forced to give up and focus on Opportunity. Even with the setbacks experienced recently, NASA still has options to continue its research on Mars.
[Source: Time for Kids]