Status Report

NASA Mars Rover Spirit Status 6 April 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
April 7, 2006
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NASA Mars Rover Spirit Status 6 April 2006

SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Seeks Alternate Winter Science Station – sol 796-804, Apr 06, 2006:

On the way to north-facing slopes on “McCool Hill” between outcrops nicknamed “Oberth” and “Korolev,” Spirit ran into an impassable, sandy area. To increase solar power output, Spirit’s handlers redirected the rover to a closer north-facing slope in an area known as “Low Ridge” or “Low Ridge Haven,” about 20 meters away from the rover’s position on sol 802 (April 5, 2006). Spirit continued to make progress in that direction after successfully exiting the sandy area on sol 799 (April 2, 2006).

Sol-by-sol highlights:

Sol 796 (March 30, 2006): In an attempt to get the rover out of some slippery sand, engineers planned a 5-meter (16-foot) drive. Spirit terminated the drive after less than one meter (3 feet) due to excessive slip.

Sol 797: Spirit recharged the batteries and conducted atmospheric remote sensing.

Sol 798: Spirit conducted targeted remote sensing, which included observations of the rover’s own tracks using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and 13 filters of the panoramic camera.

Sol 799: Rover planners designed a drive that finally got Spirit out of the sandy stuff. Spirit drove 5.8 meters (19 feet) to firmer ground.

Sol 800: Spirit recharged the batteries and conducted atmospheric remote sensing.

Sol 801: Rover handlers transmitted drive commands to Spirit via the Odyssey spacecraft. Uplink time, however, was shorter than expected, and only 10 of 16 drive sequences made it on board. The rover remained healthy but did not execute the plan.

Sol 802: Spirit successfully drove 8.2 meters (27 feet), experiencing maximum slip of only 11 percent.

Sol 803: Drive plans call for moving the rover closer to “Low Ridge Haven,” using post-drive images to design a safe approach.

Sol 804 (April 7, 2006): Planned activities include recharging the batteries, monitoring dust and observing clouds.


As of sol 802 (April 5, 2006), Spirit’s total odometry was 6,853.98 meters (4.26 miles).

SpaceRef staff editor.