“This 11-minute animation depicts key events of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, which will launch in late 2011 and land a rover, Curiosity, on Mars in August 2012. A shorter 4-minute version of this animation, with narration”
The wheels that will touch down on Mars in 2012 are several rotations closer to spinning on the rocky trails of Mars.
This video clip shows engineers in the JPL clean room where the rover is being assembled as they put all six wheels into motion for the first time.
Engineers raised the rover just as a car mechanic would hoist a car to check the wheels, and started the “engine” to get the wheels rotating. The wheel mobility system has 10 motors in all-four for steering the rover and six for driving. During this test, all 10 motors ran in every direction. Each wheel spun forward and backwards. “