How to Reduce Wear and Tear on Wheel Treads for the Curiosity Rover
The Curiosity rover has been on Mars since 2012, and has contributed much to our understanding of the Martian environment in the past and present. In 2016, NASA performed a routine wheel examination to keep track of the wear and tear of the wheels. Cracks and holes are starting to appear in the gaps between the treads. After 5 years into this mission, it's not a surprise the wheels have started to wear, however, NASA wants to squeeze as much time out of them as possible. In March, they uploaded a new adaptive traction control program to the rover, which will adjust the individual wheel speeds as the rover climbs hills. Powered by a RTG, Curiosity has many years of service left on Mars, and anything to keep it roving will be tried.