I was watching a documentary called Expedition Mars: Spirit and Opportunity (It's really good, I recommend it, you can find it on Disney+) and it said Spirit lost control of its frontmost right side wheel, how did this happen? was it a dust related issue, a age related issue, or a power related one?


1 Answer 1


No explanation has been established for the wheel failure, although a motor brush failure is one possibility.

Source: Mars Exploration Rover Spirit End of Mission Report

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    $\begingroup$ I started wondering why they didn't use brushless, and of course that's already been answered. $\endgroup$
    – Bob
    Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 1:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Bob thanks for the link! I see in the comments that the wheel failure is mentioned there as well. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 1:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Bob so I looked back on this question, and this is pretty old now, but I decided to do more research on the subject. I found some contradicting sources but one of the most common things I saw it that the current theory is an age-related brush failure. So brushless would've been better, but like you link states, the 90-sol requirement isn't enough to justify brushed motors. I've asked another question, take a look, space.stackexchange.com/questions/60754/… $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 25, 2022 at 22:39

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