Status Report

NASA Mars Rover Status Report 3 May 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
May 4, 2004
Filed under , , ,
NASA Mars Rover Status Report 3 May 2004

Spirit Status for sols 114-117 Spirit explores the ‘Big Hole’ trench posted May 3, 4:45 pm PDT

On Sol 114, which ended at 9:49 a.m. April 29 PDT,
Spirit performed a lot of science activities in the
trench called "Big Hole" using the microscopic
imager, Moessbauer spectrometer and alpha
particle X-ray spectrometer. Opportunity also
studied the rover tracks and the crater rim.

Sol 116 started with a repeat of the microscopic
imaging of a target in the trench due to minor
communication glitches on sol 115. Spirit then
stowed the arm, backed away from Big Hole trench,
and took panoramic camera images of the trench
before it continued on its trek toward the Columbia
Hills. The drive on sol 116, which ended at 11:08
a.m. May 1 PDT, established a new drive record of
90.8 meters (298 feet) for Spirit!

On sol 117, which ended at 11:47 a.m. May 2, Spirit
drove 37 meters (121 feet) to a small ridge, where
the vehicle experienced a pitch up of 12.2 degrees.
Engineers believe that the change in tilt caused the
vehicle to recompute its "goodness map," which
helps the rover autonomously drive over the
martian terrain, and the rover declared that it was
not safe to continue its drive. One good thing that
came out of this is that the end-of-drive tilt
positioned the solar arrays to maximize afternoon
solar exposure, and the rover’s battery state of
charge is in good health.

Opportunity Status for sols 94-97 Opportunity Arrives at ‘Endurance Crater’posted May 3, 4 pm PDT

After a 50-meter (164-foot) drive on sol 94, which
ended at 10:10 p.m. April 29 PDT, and the final
approach of 17 meters (56 feet) on sol 95, which
ended at 10:49 p.m. April 30 PDT, Opportunity
arrived on the western rim of "Endurance Crater"
and began surveying the spectacular new view.

Opportunity sits about half a meter (1.6 feet)
outside the edge of the crater with a positive pitch
of 4.7 degrees, meaning the rover is slightly tilted
with its head up. The western side of the crater rim
slopes down in front of Opportunity with an angle
of about 18 degrees for about 17 meters (56 feet).

Sols 96 and 97, which ended at 11:29 p.m. May 1
PDT, and 12:08 a.m. May 3 PDT respectively,
focused on remote sensing of Endurance Crater and
the interesting features in and around it.

All systems are healthy and Opportunity’s
batteries are near a full state of charge.

The plan for sols 98 and 99, which end at 12:48 a.m.
May 4 PDT and 1:28 a.m. May 5 PDT respectively,
is to take advantage of Opportunity’s current
vantage point and take high-resolution miniature
thermal emission spectrometer readings of the far
crater wall.

SpaceRef staff editor.