Mars Spirit Rover Suffers Another Setback With Second Wheel Thought Broken

NASA's Spirit Rover just isn't having much luck, between sand storms and broken wheels, with a second wheel presumed broken and the threat of an icy-cold winter freezing the Spirit "to death" if it doesn't move on soon.

Stuck in a soft patch of sand since April, its whole right side sounds damaged, thanks to the front-right wheel which hasn't worked since 2006, and now the back-right wheel that has seized up trying to get out of the sand.

Solar-powered, the Spirit Rover normally rests up each winter with its solar back angled towards any available sunlight, with enough power soaking in to keep its inside-bits from freezing. But if it can't move out of the sand pit it's stuck in, the Spirit Rover won't be able to soak up those vital rays of light.

NASA, if we all collected enough tinned soup and woolly jumpers to send to Mars, would that help? [New Scientist]