Professor works with NASA to design better tires for Mars

CLEVELAND (AP) — Nine years ago, NASA’s Mars rover Spirit sent its last signal from the Red Planet. The rover had ground to a halt on the sands of Mars, its tires sinking and spinning futilely in the fine-grained particles. “Spirit got stuck (and it) ended its mission,” said Heather Oravec, a mechanical engineering research associate professor at the University of Akron who is contracted to work full time at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Spirit was willing, but its tires were weak.

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