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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  September 19, 2004
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`Spirit' stirs as NASA plots rover's course for Mars exploration
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Pasadena, California-AP -- NASA's "Spirit" rover is expected to roll onto Martian soil late today or early tomorrow.

The six-wheeled robot landed on the Red Planet January third. It's been largely immobile since then. But now it's rolled for the first time since the landing, repositioning itself on its platform in preparation for exploring the planet.

It will explore a crater and may try to reach distant hills, a course plotted out after NASA pinpointed its location. Once it reaches the crater, Spirit should be able to examine the rocks that surround the depression.

Spirit is also expected to sample rocks and soil in its search for evidence of the possible past presence of water.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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