[meteorite-list] Mars Exploration Rovers Update - March 12, 2004
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:32:49 2004
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit is "On Top of the World" - sol 67, Mar 12, 2004
Spirit woke up on sol 67, which ended at 1:48 a.m. PST March 12, 2004,
to "On Top of the World" by the Carpenters. The song was fitting, as
yestersols's drive put Spirit at the rim of "Bonneville" crater, but it
took some additional maneuvering to get the rover perfectly placed for
the 360-degree panoramic camera images it will take on upcoming sols.
Before beginning the sol 67 drive, Spirit completed an overnight alpha
particle x-ray spectrometer integration and a couple of small panoramic
camera shots of its surroundings.
Then the rover traveled 13 meters (42.7 feet) in a direct drive around
some obstacles followed by a 1.4-meter (4.6 feet) automatic navigation
drive. Spirit spent the afternoon using the mini thermal emission
spectrometer to look at targets that will be analyzed more fully on
sol 67, and then driving 0.9 meters (3 feet) forward to be able to access
that area with the arm tomorrow.
Spirit put a total of 24.8 meters (81.4 feet) on the odometer today,
partly due to some back and forth maneuvering it had to do to ensure a
safe path. The final location has proven to be just right, and Spirit
will stay put for a couple sols while it continues to investigate
Before the day was over, Spirit looked at the sun for an attitude update
and then took front hazard avoidance camera images of the arm work volume,
and a small navigation panorama of the crater. The rover also completed
some mini thermal emission spectrometer analysis of the far side of the
crater and finished the day with some panoramic camera images of the sunset.
On sol 68, which will end at 2:28 a.m. PST March 13, 2004, Spirit will
begin a two-sol panoramic camera session and complete selected mini
thermal emission spectrometer observations. The rover will also begin a
very long Mössbauer integration on a soil target.
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Aiming for Shark's Tooth - sol 47, Mar 12, 2004
On sol 47, which ended at 2:10 p.m. PST on Friday March 12, Opportunity
awoke to "No Particular Place to Go" by Chuck Berry in recognition of the
stay at "Berry Bowl." Engineers also played "That's Amore" by Dean Martin
in honor of the Phobos moon's transit across the sky.
Opportunity finished remnants of activities from the past sol's research
at "Berry Bowl." The sol started with the hazard avoidance camera taking a
picture of the "Berry Bowl" area as a context picture. The miniature thermal
emission spectrometer then performed some "sky stares" of the atmosphere.
At 11:30 Local Solar Time, the robotic arm started moving. It picked up the
alpha particle X-ray spectrometer and moved to a new location nearby, then
switched to the Mössbauer spectrometer. Both spectrometers are searching
for clues about the chemical composition of the mysterious "blueberries."
Later, Opportunity took panoramic camera images of the suite magnet on the
rover itself, which is collecting atmospheric dust samples to understand
why the martian dust is so magnetic. The panoramic camera also took images
of a target dubbed "Fool's Silver," which contains an interesting angular
feature in the outcrop.
After all the morning's hard work, Opportunity took a short siesta to rest
and recharge. Opportunity reawakened a few hours later to take more images
of the atmosphere with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and
panoramic camera. Those were taken in the same locations as the morning
measurements to compare the atmospheric data throughout the sol.
At 15:40 Local Solar Time, Opportunity took about a dozen images of the
Sun to catch the eclipse by the martian moon, Phobos. Opportunity once
again shut down for a nap and woke up at 4:53 Local Solar Time, sol 48,
for a tool change and a communications session with the Odyssey orbiter.
While the rover was awake for the Odyssey pass, the rover heated up the
robotic arm, which had chilled to almost -80 degrees Celsius (-112 degrees
Fahrenheit). The motors cannot move at that frigid temperature, so the
rover arm heated for 32 minutes to surpass the operational temperature of
40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). As the rover arm quickly cooled,
the heat lasted long enough (5 minutes) for the arm to twist its wrist and
change instruments from the Mössbauer spectrometer back to the alpha
particle X-ray spectrometer.
The rest of the plan for sol 48, which will end at 2:49 p.m. PST on
Saturday, March 13, is to perform quite a few complicated maneuvers.
Opportunity plans to brush an area with the rock abrasion tool, analyze
the brushed area with the spectrometers, then drive 10 meters (33 feet)
along the slippery slopes of the outcrop to "Shark's Tooth" in "Shoemaker's
Received on Sat 13 Mar 2004 03:15:18 PM PST