[meteorite-list] Mars Exploration Rovers Update - February 19, 2004

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:31:24 2004
Message-ID: <200402192006.MAA00578_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Update: Spirit and Opportunity

SPIRIT UPDATE: Halfway Through - sol 46, Feb 19, 2004

Sol 46, completed at 11:17 a.m. February 19, 2004 PST, marks the
halfway point of Spirit's primary surface mission - sols 2 through
91. Spirit began this momentous morning by doing some remote
sensing of the crater rim and imaging the surrounding soil with
the panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
After all this work, Spirit took a break with a nap lasting
slightly more than an hour. After waking, Spirit continued its
observations of the ground and sky with the miniature thermal
emission spectrometer. At about 1:34 p.m. Mars Local Solar Time,
Spirit found itself analyzing a patch of the atmosphere with the
miniature thermal emission spectrometer at the same time that
Mars Global Surveyor's thermal emission spectrometer was looking
down through the same chunk of atmosphere. This concurrent
observation will enable a more thorough understanding of martian
atmospheric conditions.

Spirit's afternoon activities began at about 4:00 p.m. Mars Local
Solar Time after the Mars Global Surveyor pass. Spirit was
expected to take stereo microscopic images of the target "Trout"
in Laguna Hollow. This is the first time the microscopic imager
will take pictures at Gusev Crater without the Moessbauer
instrument first touching the surface of the soil. The
observation will provide pictures of undisturbed soil. After
this, Spirit will perform a calibration activity by imaging a
location in the sky with the microscopic imager and the
navigation camera simultaneously.

Spirit's day will stretch into the night this sol with an
overnight Moessbauer spectrometer integration. After a brief
sleep, Spirit will wake at about 2:00 a.m. Mars Local Solar time
on sol 47 to end the integration, collect the data and turn on
the arm heaters. It will prepare for changing the tool from
the Moessbauer to the alpha particle x-ray spectrometer, and
begin observations with the new tool. Finally, the rover will
leave the alpha particle x-ray spectrometer powered on and
go back to sleep around 2:30 a.m. Mars Local Solar time.

On the morning of Sol 47, which will end at 11:57 a.m.
February 20, 2004 PST, the plan is for Spirit to end the
alpha particle x-ray observation and collect that data, and
then perform some early mini-thermal emission spectrometer
soil properties observations.

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Stutter Stepping to El Capitan - sol 25,
Feb 19, 2004

On sol 25, which ended at 11:38 p.m. Wednesday, February 18,
PST, Opportunity used the microscopic imager and alpha
particle x-ray spectrometer to study the chemical makeup of
the wall and floor area within the rover-made trench. Due to
time constraints, Opportunity was unable to take a picture
of the heat shield in the distance.

Sol 25's wake-up music was "Fascination" by Human League.

The plan for sol 26, which will end at 12:18 a.m. Friday,
PST, is to back away from the trench, obtain one grand
finale Moessbauer spectrometer reading of the trench,
pick up and stow the rover arm, then turn and drive 9
meters (30 feet) to the El Capitan area. Opportunity will
make a few intentional "stutter steps" on its way to
El Capitan, stopping to take a few front hazard avoidance
camera images and navigation camera images to plan for
final approach and robotic arm activities.

Opportunity will stop a couple of meters (about 6 or 7 feet)
short of El Capitan to take images with its panoramic camera
and gather science measurements with its miniature thermal
emission spectrometer. On sol 27, Opportunity will make a
short, closer approach to El Capitan to poise itself to
use the rock abrasion tool and other instruments on the
rover arm.
Received on Thu 19 Feb 2004 03:06:38 PM PST

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