Status Report

Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Update: Little Forward Progress

By SpaceRef Editor
January 18, 2010
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Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Update: Little Forward Progress

sols 2137-2143, January 6-12, 2010

Spirit remains embedded at the location called “Troy” on the West side of Home Plate. Extrication drives were tried on sols 2138, 2140 and 2142 (Jan. 7, 9 and 11, 2010). Each of these drives employed a new technique of steering the wheels back and forth before driving. This has shown some efficacy at sweeping material out of the wheel tracks and allowing fresh material to slough off the leading trench face providing traction under the wheel. Slower wheel speeds were also tried on two of the drives. However, even with these new techniques, little forward progress has been achieved. And excessive sinkage continues to occur with each attempt.

Both the right-front and right-rear wheel continue to be non-functional.

Next, Spirit will switch directions and attempt to drive backward to see if that provides better progress.

As of Sol 2143 (Jan. 12, 2010), Spirit’s solar-array energy production is 225 watt-hours, with an atmospheric opacity (tau) of 0.490 and a dust factor of 0.539. Total odometry is 7,730.12 meters (4.80 miles).

SpaceRef staff editor.