Unstuck on Mars
Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Lab has successfully steered its Opportunity robot out of a Martian sandpit. The sandpit wasn’t the Mars mission’s first glitch: there was the time last year that Opportunity’s twin, Spirit, kept rebooting and wouldn’t phone home, a Mars Polar Lander that crashed in 1999, and, most embarassingly, a Mars Orbiter exploration satellite that crashed into Mars in 1999 because engineers measured some things in meters and others in yards.
Things seem to be looking up now, though, as the cute little robots overcome their problems and carry on. Opportunity is unstuck, Spirit is climbing mountains and sending home pictures of them, and there are lots of cool pictures of Mars on the JPL site.