National

Jan 26, 2010 1:56 PM by Associated Press

NASA ends effort to free rover from Martian sand

NASA's Mars rover Spirit will rove no more.

The space agency said Tuesday that scientists have given up trying to free Spirit, which has been trapped in soft sand since last April. Instead, the focus will turn to tilting it to the north so it can get enough sunlight on its solar panels to survive the upcoming Martian winter.

Though Spirit's roving career has ended, it will still do research stuck where it is as long as it has the energy.

Since landing on Mars in 2004, Spirit has trekked nearly five miles and climbed a mountain as tall as the Statue of Liberty. Its twin, Opportunity, continues to drive and explore.

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