- Press Release
- Dec 8, 2022
NASA Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Status: 11 March 2006
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Studies Surface and Atmosphere on Way to ‘McCool’ – sol 771-777, Mar 11, 2006:
Since backing down from the top of “Home Plate” on Martian day, or sol, 764 (Feb. 25, 2006), Spirit has driven southeast 103 meters (338 feet) toward “McCool Hill.” Along the way, the rover used its robotic arm to analyze a rock target dubbed “Fuzzy Smith” and conducted remote scientific studies of outcrops along the side of Home Plate and on “Mitcheltree Ridge.” Scientists plan to acquire long-baseline stereo images of McCool Hill before driving too close to the hillside. The images will provide measurements of surface features necessary for planning the rover’s path.
During the week, NASA’s Odyssey spacecraft has been relaying commands from Earth to Spirit via the UHF link. Communications over X-band frequencies have been allocated for use by the Deep Space Network to track the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter during its approach to the red planet. Next week, Spirit is expected to resume operations via X-band uplinks.
Sol 771 (March 4, 2006): Spirit completed an analysis of targets dubbed “Rube Foster” and “Willie Wells” using the Mössbauer spectrometer and 13 filters on the panoramic camera. During the afternoon Odyssey pass, Spirit collected data with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Spirit then began a study of a rock target called Fuzzy Smith with the Mössbauer spectrometer.
Sol 772: Spirit stowed the robotic arm and took panoramic camera images of Fuzzy Smith, then drove 27 meters (89 feet) southeast across Home Plate. After the drive, Spirit conducted opacity observations of afternoon dust and measurements of the sky and ground using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 773: After waking, Spirit continued atmospheric studies by taking thumbnail images of the sky with the panoramic camera and images of both the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. In the afternoon, Spirit acquired images with both the panoramic and navigation cameras to provide essential data for selecting targets and planning routes. The rover also completed a systematic ground survey and survey of rock clasts using the panoramic camera.
Sol 774: Spirit drove off of Home Plate and back into the “Dugout” – a gulley near the southeast edge of Home Plate. The rover acquired mid-drive images and post-drive images of surrounding terrain, then completed opacity observations and measurements of the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 775: In the morning, Spirit took thumbnail images of the sky with the panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer measurements of the sky and ground. With the robotic arm still stowed, Spirit spent 30 minutes collecting temperature data using the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. In the afternoon, Spirit conducted reconnaissance with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 776: Plans for this sol call for Spirit to begin collecting a long-baseline stereo mosaic of images of the hill by taking panoramic camera images from one site, driving 8 meters (26 feet), and then acquiring the part of the second half of the stereo mosaic.
Sol 777 (March 11, 2006): Plans for this sol include morning atmospheric studies, finishing the long-baseline stereo mosaic, and taking pictures of a target called “Bitty Cloud.”
As of sol 775 (March 9, 2006), Spirit’s total odometry was 6,756 meters (4.2 miles).