Status Report

NASA Mars Rovers Status 10 Mar 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
March 11, 2004
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SPIRIT UPDATE: Roving Toward the Rim – sol 65, Mar 10, 2004

Spirit spent sol 65, which ended at 12:29 a.m. PST on March 10,
analyzing soil targets with the alpha particle x-ray spectrometer,
Moessbauer spectrometer and microscopic imager before stowing its
arm, doing some remote sensing of the trench dubbed "Serendipity
Trench," and then finally setting off for the longest directed
drive to date. That drive was 27 meters (88.6 feet) toward the
edge of "Bonneville" crater.

Spirit then attempted to use auto navigation to reach a target
that was an additional 6 meters (19.7 feet) away. Sensitive
obstacle avoidance software prevented Spirit from reaching the
destination, and like yestersol, the rover completed several
drives forward and back. Those drives resulted in a final
odometer reading of 40.7 meters (133.5 feet) for the day, even
though the total straight-line distance traveled was 30
meters (98.4 feet).

The 30-meter (98.4 feet) drive put Spirit close enough to
"Bonneville’s" edge to take images with the navigation cameras
that reveal the opposite rim of the crater.

On sol 66, which ends at 1:09 a.m. PST on March 11, 2004, Spirit
will drive up to the summit of the rim and show us what’s inside
with a 180-degree navigation camera panorama.

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Halfway Mark – sol 45, Mar 10, 2004

On sol 45, which ended at 12:50 p.m. PST on Wednesday, March 10,
Opportunity awoke to ”Eclipse" by Pink Floyd in recognition of the
transit of the martian moon, Phobos. A second song, "Meet Me Halfway"
by Kenny Loggins, was played because Opportunity is halfway through
its primary 90-sol surface mission.

Opportunity used the rock abrasion tool brush to sweep off the dirt in
and around the hole at "Mojo 2" in the "Flat Rock" area. Opportunity
then took five microscopic images of the freshly brushed "Mojo 2."

The miniature thermal emission spectrometer took measurements at
three locations on the surface of Mars, and then pointed upwards to
observe the atmosphere in four different directions. The panoramic
camera was also busy taking images of the magnets around the rock
abrasion tool area, "Mojo 2" post brushing, and a new area called
"Slick Rock."

The plan for sol 46, which will end at 1:30 p.m. PST on Thursday,
March 11, is to use the science instruments on the end of the
robotic arm on the area dubbed "Berry Bowl."

SpaceRef staff editor.