Status Report

NASA Mars Rovers Status 9 Mar 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
March 10, 2004
Filed under , , ,

Opportunity Status for sol 44 – Back to the Grind – posted Mar. 9, 12 pm PST

On Opportunity’s 44th sol, ending at 12:10 p.m. PST on Tuesday, March
9, the rock
abrasion tool ground a 3.1 millimeter-deep (just over one-tenth of an
inch) hole in
the "Mojo 2" target on "Flatrock." Yesterday, diagnostic testing
determined a
voltage adjustment was necessary to overcome some mechanism
"stickiness" in the
routine during which the rock abrasion tool finds the highest point in
the target area.

The routine worked perfectly on this grind with the new voltage
setting. After one
hour and five minutes of successful grinding, the rock abrasion tool
grind motor
stalled, probably while grinding into one of the spherules also known
"blueberries." These objects are known to obstruct the grinding tool
and cause it to
terminate its sequence.

Late in the martian morning, the Moessbauer spectrometer was placed on
the hole,
followed later by the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. The miniature
emission spectrometer took two long atmospheric measurements. The
camera was busy taking images of the hole as well as surrounding
target areas.

The wake-up songs were "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" by Janis
Joplin for the rock
abrasion tool’s second attempt at "Mojo 2," and "X-ray Eyes" by Kiss
for the alpha
particle X-ray spectrometer.

Spirit Status for sol 64 – Spirit Reaches the 300-Meter Mark! – posted Mar. 9, 11 am PST

Spirit completed another 29 meters (94 feet) of its drive toward the
rim of
"Bonneville" crater on sol 64, which ended at 11:49 p.m. PST, bringing
its total
odometry to 314 meters (1,030 feet) – 14 meters (45.9 feet) past the
mission success criterion.

Spirit began the morning with an 18-meter (59 feet) direct drive that
maneuvered the rover through a field of rocks. Spirit then traversed
11 more meters
(35 feet) using autonomous navigation and at 11:30 a.m. Mars Local
Solar Time
completed the drive. Spirit had some difficulty finding a way around
an obstacle
during the last portion of the commanded drive. That resulted in some
forward and backward maneuvering which left an interesting "trench"
for scientists
to have the rover peer into.

Spirit is climbing up a very steep part of "Bonneville" now, and ended
this sol’s drive
tilted at a forward pitch of about 15 degrees.

For the next sol, the plan was to have Spirit perform some
mini-thermal emission
spectrometer sky and ground observations before waking up to do a
and drive again!

SpaceRef staff editor.