Status Report

NASA Mars Rover Update: Spirit Continues Work on Winter Panorama

By SpaceRef Editor
September 11, 2008
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NASA Mars Rover Update: Spirit Continues Work on Winter Panorama

sol 1657-1662, August 31-September 05, 2008:

Spirit continues to conserve power during the waning Martian winter while performing light science activities. As power permits, Spirit continues to acquire the individual frames of an image mosaic known as the “Bonestell panorama,” which will portray a full-color view of the rover’s winter outpost.

Spirit is healthy, with all subsystems performing as expected as of the most recent report from Mars sent by NASA’s Odyssey orbiter on sol 1658 (Sept. 1, 2008). Solar-array energy had increased slightly from 235 to 245 watt-hours (100 watt-hours is the amount of energy needed to light a 100-watt bulb for one hour). Tau — a measure of atmospheric opacity caused by suspended dust — dropped from 0.274 to 0.218, meaning the skies were slightly clearer.

Sol-by-sol summary

In addition to taking daily measurements of dust-related changes in atmospheric opacity (tau), Spirit completed the following activities:

Sol 1657 (Aug. 31, 2008): Spirit acquired column 13, part 1 of the so-called “Bonestell panorama” of the rover’s winter surroundings, using all 13 color filters of the panoramic camera.

Sol 1658: Spirit relayed data from Mars to NASA’s Odyssey orbiter to be transmitted to Earth.

Sol 1659: Spirit received new instructions from Earth via the rover’s high-gain, X-band antenna.

Sol 1660: Spirit recharged the batteries.

Sol 1661: Spirit recharged the batteries.

Sol 1662 (Sept. 5, 2008): Spirit recharged the batteries.


As of sol 1658 (Sept. 1, 2008), Spirit’s total odometry remained at 7,528.0 meters (4.7 miles).

SpaceRef staff editor.