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The rover alternately pushed soil forward and backward out of the trench with its right front wheel while other wheels held the rover in place. The rover turned slightly between bouts of digging to widen the hole. "We took a patient, gentle approach to digging," Biesiadecki said. The process lasted 22 minutes.
The resulting trench -- the first dug by either Mars Exploration Rover -- is about 50 centimeters (20 inches) long and 10 centimeters (4 inches) deep. "It came out deeper than I expected," said Dr. Rob Sullivan of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., a science-team member who worked closely with engineers to plan the digging.
Two features that caught scientists' attention were the clotty texture of soil in the upper wall of the trench and the brightness of soil on the trench floor, Sullivan said. Researchers look forward to getting more information from observations of the trench planned during the next two or three days using the rover's full set of science instruments.
Two features that caught scientists' attention were the clotty texture of soil in the upper wall of the trench and the brightness of soil on the trench floor, Sullivan said.
Originally posted by ArchAngel
This should not have happened with the rovers system of control. It moves very slowly, and always checks to be sure it is not losing its footing. If one wheel begins to sink it will lift that wheel, and back up. I believe this was done on purpose.
Now why are there not pics of this trench from the pancam?