Status Report

NASA Mars Rover Spirit Status 11 August 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
August 14, 2006
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NASA Mars Rover Spirit Status 11 August 2006
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SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Survives Second Winter Solstice on Mars – sol 922-928, August 11, 2006:

Spirit has now survived the rover’s second Martian winter solstice — the shortest day of the year with the least amount of sunlight and solar energy. The solstice arrived on the rover’s 923rd Martian day, or sol (Aug. 8, 2006). Spirit is healthy and continues to make progress on its winter science campaign.

Having completed the “McMurdo mega-panorama,” Spirit is currently filling cracks between frames by acquiring touch-up images (dubbed “grout” by engineers). The rover is also spending this week and next making a series of atmospheric observations at the same time each day.

Spirit continues to collect about 280 watt-hours of electrical power each sol from the rover’s solar array (a hundred watt-hours is the amount of electricity needed to light one 100-watt bulb for one hour).

Sol-by-sol summaries:

Sol 922 (Aug. 7, 2006): Spirit measured atmospheric dust opacity (known as a tau measurement) with the panoramic camera, surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquired fill-in images with the panoramic camera for column 24A (a single frame) of the McMurdo pan.

Sol 923: Spirit took a tau measurement with the panoramic camera, surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquired morning fill-in images for the McMurdo pan with the panoramic camera.

Sol 924: Spirit took a tau measurement with the panoramic camera, surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquired panoramic camera images of the “El Dorado” dune field (a two-by-one mosaic). The rover acquired images of fine ripples with the hazard avoidance cameras and a rearward-looking view with the left eye of the right rear hazard avoidance camera. Spirit also acquired morning fill-in images for the McMurdo pan.

Sol 925: Spirit took a tau measurement with the panoramic camera, surveyed the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquired morning fill-in images for the McMurdo pan with the panoramic camera. Spirit also took a sunset tau measurement, an observation during which the rover evaluates atmospheric opacity at sunset to estimate dust height.

Sol 926: Plans called for Spirit to take a tau measurement with the panoramic camera, survey the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquire morning fill-in images for the McMurdo pan.

Sol 927: Plans called for Spirit to take a tau measurement with the panoramic camera, survey the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquire compositional data on a rock-and-soil target known as “Halley Brunt Offset 2” using the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. Plans also called for Spirit to complete a morning sky survey using the panoramic camera.

Sol 928 (Aug. 13, 2006): Plans called for Spirit to take a tau measurement with the panoramic camera, survey the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquire morning fill-in images for the McMurdo pan.

Odometry:

As of sol 924 (Aug. 9, 2006), Spirit’s total odometry remained at 6,876.18 meters (4.27 miles).

SpaceRef staff editor.