Status Report

NASA Mars Exploration Rover Update 20 May 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
May 23, 2005
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NASA Mars Exploration Rover Update 20 May 2005

SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Drives to ‘Larry’s Outcrop’ – sol 483-489, May 20, 2005

Spirit finished work at the target “Reef.” Over the weekend (May 14 and 15), Spirit performed work using the instruments on the robotic arm on a target informally called, “Davis” on “Jibsheet.” Work included use of the microscopic imager, the rock abrasion tool brush, a long alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration, and a long Mossbauer spectrometer integration. Spirit spent 2 sols (May 17 and 18) driving to “Larry’s Outcrop.” Upon arrival, Spirit took detailed navigation camera and panoramic camera observations in support of possible robotic arm work on Larry’s Outcrop. Spirit remains in excellent health.

Total odometry as of May 19, 2005, is 4,368.07 meters (2.71 miles).

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Moving Slowly in the Dune – sol 467-470, May 20, 2005

Opportunity continues to make inch-by-inch progress toward getting out of the dune where it has been dug-in since sol 446 (April 26).

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 467 (May 17): Opportunity was commanded to rotate its wheels enough to have rolled 4 meters (13 feet) if there were no slippage. It advanced 2.1 centimeters (0.8 inch) through the loose material of the dune.

Sol 468: A commanded motion of 8 meters (26 feet) was executed this sol. Forward progress was about 4 centimeters (1.6 inches).

Sol 469: A 2-meter (7-foot) drive was commanded, and Opportunity advanced about 1 centimeter (0.4 inch).

Sol 470 (May 20): The rover was sent commands for a 12-meter (39-foot) drive. This drive incorporates larger step sizes, lower current limits for the drive motors, and a lower bogie angle limit.

SpaceRef staff editor.