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reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE - To MARS with MER
Why did it take so long to deploy the "Spirit" rover?
Well, once we got to the surface there's a lot of things that happen in impact to egress. One of the things we were talking through. The rover has to stand up. What I like and Chris and a lot of the other engineers have talked about, sort of this reverse origami that occurs.
We want to make sure that everything is set properly to get off of the lander. One of the other things that actually the time line was almost exactly dead on, except we took about two more sols on Mars, working on the air bags. The air bags that were billowed in front of the vehicle, looked a little bit menacing to the vehicle, like if we drove straight off we may hit the solar array. So we wanted to make sure that we pulled those back in, tested that. That didn't work, so then we had make sure that we went through the rest of the sequence getting everything done, getting all of the science data back, all of our mission success before we turned and then got off of the lander. We separated ourselves from the lander and made sure the lander was in the correct orientation to egress.
Mechanical Systems Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory