Status Report

NASA Mars Rovers Update 22 Mar 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
March 22, 2004
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SPIRIT UPDATE: One Step Closer – sol 77, Mar 22, 2004

Spirit woke up on sol 77, which ended at 8:24 a.m. PST on March 22,
2004, to "One Step Closer" by the Doobie Brothers, since the rover
was to make its final approach to the rock target named "Mazatzal"

Before beginning the .9-meter (2.95 feet) drive to Mazatzal, Spirit
analyzed the soil target "Soil 1" at its current location with the
microscopic imager and Mˆssbauer spectrometer. During the
Mˆssbauer integration, Spirit also took panoramic camera images
and performed miniature thermal emission spectrometer analysis of
the atmosphere and Mazatzal work area.

At 1:25 p.m. Mars Local Solar Time, Spirit completed the Mˆssbauer
integration, took a few microscopic imager images of the impression
left on "Soil 1" by the Mˆssbauer spectrometer and then stowed the
instrument arm. Spirit then proceeded the short distance toward
Mazatzal and took hazard avoidance camera images to confirm that its
final resting place put the intended rock targets in reach of the
instrument arm.

Following the drive, the rover acquired more panoramic camera and
mini thermal emission spectrometer observations of the atmosphere,
and of interesting areas near the Mazatzal site including targets
named "Sandbox," "Saber" and "Darksands."

Spirit finished up sol 77 by getting the mini thermal emission
spectrometer in position for morning observations on sol 78.

Spirit will spend most of Sol 78, which will end at 9:04 a.m. PST on
March 23, analyzing Mazatzal with the instruments on the robotic arm.

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Leaves the Nest – sol 57, Mar 22, 2004

After a slightly slippery start yestersol, Opportunity made it out of
"Eagle Crater"on sol 57, which ends at 8:45 p.m. PST on March 22. The
drive along the crater’s inner slope that was initiated on the last sol
continued this sol until Opportunity exited its landing-site crater.
Images from the navigation camera confirm that the rover is about 9
meters (about 29.5 feet) outside of the crater.

The rover also conducted remote sensing observations between naps this
sol. After completing the drive out of the crater, the navigation camera
imaged Opportunity’s brand new view of the plains of Meridiani Planum.

During the martian night, rover planners will awaken Opportunity to take
miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations of the ground and
the atmosphere.

The song chosen to motivate Opportunity to move up and out of the crater
was "If You Don’t Get it the First Time, Back Up and Try it Again" by
the JBs and Fred Wesley.

SpaceRef staff editor.