Status Report

NASA Mars Exploration Rover Status 3 June 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
June 3, 2005
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NASA Mars Exploration Rover Status 3 June 2005

SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Hits the 500-Sol Mark! – sol 497-503, June 03, 2005

Spirit has been working on Mars for more than 500 sols! This week the rover completed its close-up observations of “Larry’s Outcrop” and drove back toward “Methuselah,” looking for a passable way up to the summit. The rover will continue to drive around the perimeter of “Husband Hill” until it finds a good pathway.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sols 497 and 498 (May 27 and 28, 2005): Spirit used tools on its robotic arm at west Larry’s Outcrop and made remote-sensing observations.

Sols 499 to 501: Spirit continued using the tools on the arm to examine the outcrop and soils. It also made more observations with tools on the camera mast.

Sol 502: Soil observation; remote sensing.

Sol 503 (June 2, 2005): Finished soil work, took microscopic images of outcrop, drove toward Methuselah.

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Working Its Way Out of Dune – sol 476-483, June 03, 2005:

Opportunity continues to make progress out of the dune. Recent sols have seen a slight decrease in slip and a decrease of the bogie angles, which might indicate that the rover has crested a dune. The bogie supports the rear and middle wheels, allowing the wheels to move up and down in response to the terrain. The bogie angle is the angle that the support beam makes to the horizontal.

Since the rover began making its way out of the sand trap last month, it has driven enough to have moved 177.2 meters (581 feet) if there were no slippage, and has made actual forward progress of 93 centimeters (3 feet). Weather report: Atmospheric opacity (measured as “tau”) has increased over the past few sols, decreasing the amount of solar energy received by Opportunity. The rover has still been able to drive every sol, but has had to use the deep-sleep mode on most nights to save energy.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 476 (beginning on May 26, 2005): 12 meters (39 feet) commanded, 5.5 centimeters (2.2 inches) progress.

Sol 477: 12 meters (39 feet) commanded, 11.2 meters (37 feet) executed, 4.9 centimeters (2 inches) progress. (Visual odometry indicated that the rover had gone farther than it had, and flight software stopped the drive early.)

Sol 478: 12 meters (39 feet) commanded, 5.2 meters (17 feet) executed (due to the same issue with visual odometry), 2.2 centimeters (0.9 inch) progress.

Sol 479: 12 meters (39 feet) commanded and executed, 5.9 centimeters (2.3 inches) progress.

Sol 480: 12 meters (39 feet) commanded and executed, 6.3 centimeters (2.5 inches) progress.

Sol 481: 20 meters (66 feet) commanded and executed, 12.9 centimeters (5.1 inches) progress.

Sol 482: 20 meters (66 feet) commanded and executed, 10.7 centimeters (4.2 inches) progress.

Sol 483 (ending on June 3, 2005): 20 meters (66 feet) commanded and executed, about 13 centimeters (5.1 inches) progress.

SpaceRef staff editor.