VICTORIA CRATER, MARS – Four years into its journey to explore the surface of Mars, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover has been stripped of all six wheels. An earlier story about recent upgrades may have brought unwanted attention to the expensive vehicle.
Despite having an onboard camera, the Rover did not capture an image of the culprits. The scene of the crime was Colfax Escarpment, known to astronomers as the “sketchy part” of Victoria Crater.
“We believe they worked as a team, because they got those wheels off fast,” said lead Rover brake specialist Doug Prinimay. “But we have no clue as to who ‘they’ might be.”
The Rover team had some disagreement over whether to install an alarm system or a set of chrome rims, which won funding.
The team plans to continue exploring the area immediately surrounding the Rover.