Status Report

NASA Mars Exploration Rovers Status 28 Feb 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
February 28, 2004
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Opportunity Status for sol 33 – Biting Blueberry Hill – posted Feb. 27, 10:30 am PST

On sol 33, which ended at 4:55 a.m. Friday, February 27, Opportunity reached its second rock abrasion tool target site, and itís ready to take the next bite of Mars.

Opportunity woke up a little late on sol 33 to conserve energy. The wake-up song was ‘Blueberry Hill’ by Fats Domino, in honor of the hill in front of the rover.

Opportunity took an early afternoon 360-degree panorama and an extra observation of the area to the east with its navigation camera, while the Moessbauer instrument completed the measurements it began on sol 32.

The microscopic imager also took three sets of observations of the hole created by the rock abrasion tool on sol 30. Opportunity later took stereo images of the rock area named “Maya” and took pictures of an area called “Half-Dome.” Both the panoramic camera and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed the sky.

In between science measurements, Opportunity stowed its instrument arm and drove a 15-centimeter (6-inch) “bump” to reach its next rock abrasion tool target. Final shutdown was at 2:37 Local Solar Time, with a brief wakeup at 4:10 Local Solar Time to transmit data to the Mars Odyssey orbiter as it flew over the rover.

The plan for the weekend is to grind into the upper part of “El Capitan” dubbed “Guadalupe” and to take extensive measurements of the new hole using the microscopic imager and two spectrometers.

Spirit Status for sol 43 – Mega Drive – posted Feb. 26, 12:30 pm PST

Spirit spent the wee morning hours of sol 43 gathering data about a wheel-track target with the Moessbauer spectrometer, then tucked its arm and drove. It used a two-session method engineers call a “mega drive” in order to make good progress toward the crater nicknamed “Bonneville.” The first driving session covered 19 meters (62.3 feet) after long-running morning activities shortened the time for driving. After a rest, Spirit continued another 8.5 meters (27.9 feet) in the afternoon, resulting in a total drive of 27.5 meters (90.2 feet), a new one-sol record. Sol 43 ended at 9:58 a.m. Monday, PST. The remaining distance to “Bonneville” is about 245 meters (about 800 feet) from Spirit’s new location.

For sol 44, which will end at 10:38 a.m. Tuesday, PST, controllers plan “touch-and-go” activities: deploying the arm on a target called “Ramp Flats” before continuing toward Bonneville.

SpaceRef staff editor.