Status Report

NASA Mars Rover Status Report 3 February 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
February 4, 2005
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NASA Mars Rover Status Report 3 February 2005

SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Productive with Peace Efforts – sol 374-380, February 02, 2005

Spirit had another productive week in the locale of a target called “Peace.” Because of strong interest in the unusual character of “Peace,” the team decided to throw the full science instrument payload at the rock.

Sol-by-sol summaries:

On sol 374, Spirit performed a successful 40-minute grind on Peace. The short grind time was due to energy limitations on the rover, which were a result of a dust storm that limited solar energy. The rock abrasion tool performed with no anomalies, and a 3.22- millimeter hole was made, removing some of the upper rock surface. Then, Spirit placed the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer in the hole drilled by the rock abrasion tool. The usual morning and evening remote-sensing science observations were conducted.

On sol 375, Spirit placed the Mössbauer spectrometer in the abraded hole. Again, the usual remote-sensing science observations were made.

On sol 376, Spirit continued the Mössbauer spectrometer integration, then Spirit changed tools to take pictures of the rock abrasion tool hole with the microscopic imager. Spirit performed more remote-sensing science.

On sol 377, Spirit completed a successful 1-hour-and-56-minute grind on Peace. This was the second attempt at grinding this rock target because the depth of first grind on sol 274 was deemed insufficient by the science team to really get inside the rock. The rock abrasion tool again performed the operation with no anomalies. It ground an additional 9.7 millimeters into the previously abraded surface. This additional depth did not necessarily add directly to the depth achieved on sol 374 due to potential rover arm placement errors, but it was the deepest rock abrasion tool hole created to date!

On sol 378, Spirit started the Mössbauer spectrometer reading at noon and integrated until 3:00 a.m. The usual atmospheric science was conducted.

On sol 379, Spirit restarted the Mössbauer spectrometer to get four hours of observations during the day, and an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer reading was taken overnight. Atmospheric science, miniature thermal emission spectrometer readings of “Boycott”, and an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer reading were taken overnight.

On sol 380, the Science Operations Working Group (SOWG) decided that Spirit should remain at the location with “Peace.” Spirit collected pictures of the deep rock abrasion tool hole with the microscopic imager. The microscopic imager images of the bottom of that hole were received on the ground. A short alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration on a new “Peace” target was collected just before the Odyssey orbiter communications pass, and the data were sent down on that pass. A long alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration (greater than eight hours) will come down later. Additional pictures of Peace from the microscopic imager were collected. The miniature thermal emission spectrometer monitored dust. The panoramic camera and hazard avoidance camera took images of the rock abrasion tool’s magnets and grinding bit. The atmosphere has become slightly less dusty since the latest reporting. Sol 380 ended on Jan. 27.

SpaceRef staff editor.