Status Report

NASA Mars Rovers Status Report 6 May 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
May 6, 2004
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SPIRIT UPDATE: ‘Columbia Hills’ on the Horizon – sol 118-120, May 06, 2004

Spirit is now approximately 1.7 kilometers (1 mile) away from
the base of the "Columbia Hills" after three long sols of
driving. Its odometer currently reads 1,566 meters (.97 miles)
and counting.

Sol 118 was a record-breaking driving sol for Spirit. The
Gusev Crater rover moved 92.4 meters (303 feet) across the
surface in one sol, breaking its previous record of around
90 meters (295 feet). The Opportunity rover still has Spirit
beat with a one-sol driving record of 140 meters (459.3 feet).

Sol 119 proved to be a more difficult sol for Spirit. An
uplink configuration error prevented the sequence load from
successfully getting on board the rover. Rover controllers
took advantage of the down day by deleting afternoon
communication sessions and enabling the rover to charge its
battery during a long afternoon nap.

It was back to business as usual on sol 120. Before embarking
on its drive, Spirit imaged a rock called "Tulula" with the
panoramic camera. The rover then successfully executed a
blind drive before using the autonomous navigation system to
continue into uncharted territory. After reaching the
time-of-day driving limit, Spirit turned and performed
penultimate (next to last stop) imaging. The next move would
have taken the rover 85 centimeters (33.5 inches) to its
ultimate stopping point, but did not execute because Spirit
was facing a small sand ridge that was perceived as a hazard.
Without a penultimate/ultimate image pair, rover controllers
could not be sure that the area underneath the rover was clear
of hazards for instrument arm deployment. As a result, Sol 121
will be another driving sol that controllers hope will place
Spirit in a suitable location to use the instruments on its
instrument deployment device.

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: An Eyeful at ‘Endurance’ – sol 98-99, May 06, 2004

Opportunity continues to gaze at the incredible "Endurance
Crater" from its vantage point on the western rim. Remote
sensing, including gathering of imagery of two potential
traverse targets just inside the northern edge and
southwestern edge of the crater, will continue on the rover’s
100th sol.

SpaceRef staff editor.