Status Report

NASA Mars Rovers Status 2 Apr 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
April 4, 2004
Filed under , , ,

SPIRIT UPDATE: Bye-Bye ‘Bonneville’ – sol 87, Apr 02, 2004

Spirit began sol 87, which ended at 3:00 p.m. PST on April 1,
with some morning atmospheric science, and then took a last
look at the rock "Mazatzal" with the panoramic and navigation
cameras. Then the rover was off, traveling 36.5 meters
(119.8 feet) down the side of "Bonneville" Crater headed
south toward the "Columbia Hills."

The drive was a combination of "blind" and autonomous
navigation roving. The blind segments of the drive are used
when rover planners can see all possible hazards and command
the rover to just "go." The autonomous navigation portion
allows the rover to make decisions based on the terrain
presented. While the blind segments of the sol 87 drive were
successful, the second to the last autonomous navigation
sequence did not complete in the allotted time, causing a
drive "goal" error. As a result, Spirit was not able to
execute the complete commanded drive, and roved 36.5 meters
(119.8 feet) of the 65-meter (213.3 feet) planned drive.

Following the drive, Spirit took navigation and panoramic
camera pictures in her drive direction and performed
atmospheric and soil science with the panoramic camera and
mini thermal emission spectrometer.

Spirit will spend most of sol 88, which ends at
3:39 p.m. PST on April 2, driving toward the Columbia Hills.

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: ‘Bounce’ Barraged by Instruments – sol 67, Apr 02, 2004

In recognition of changing the instruments on its arm nine
times, David Bowie’s "Changes" woke Opportunity on its 67th
sol on Mars, which ended at 3:21 a.m. PST on April 2.

The rover continued to examine "Bounce" with the microscopic
imager and the Moessbauer and alpha particle X-ray

During the martian morning, the Moessbauer spectrometer was
turned off before atmospheric science was conducted with
the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and the
panoramic camera.

The afternoon hours were dedicated to intensive study of a
handful of targets on Bounce, including the impression
ground by the rock abrasion tool on sol 66.

Opportunity will continue to investigate Bounce for the
next two sols and then begin its journey toward
"Endurance Crater."

SpaceRef staff editor.