[meteorite-list] Mars Exploration Rovers Update - March 18, 2004

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:32:51 2004
Message-ID: <200403182049.MAA22170_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Opportunity Status for sol 52
Scrutinizing the Soil
posted Mar. 18, 9 am PST

Sol 52, which ended at 5:27 p.m. PST on March 17,
was a full day for Opportunity, punctuated by short
naps. The rover arm was deployed on the first of
five targets in the rover's current soil survey. The
soil was examined by all the rover's spectrometers
and the panoramic camera.

In the afternoon, the rover moved about 6 meters
(about 20 feet) to the second soil target, performing
several remote observations along the way.
Closing out the sol, Opportunity's alpha particle
X-ray spectrometer began to inspect the capture
magnets on the front of the rover. Clues about
Mars' watery history are present even in the
smallest dust grains that settle on these magnet

Images of Opportunity's "scuff" experiment on the
rock "Carousel" reached Earth this sol. Scientists
are currently examining the results.

In honor of Opportunity's 52nd sol on Mars,
engineers chose "Rock Lobster" by the B52s as a
wake-up tune.

In the coming sols, the rover will travel to the final
targets in the soil survey.

Spirit Status for sol 73
A Close-Up of 'Serpent'
posted Mar. 18, 10:45 am PST

Spirit spent most of sol 73, which ended at 5:46
a.m. PST on March 18, 2004, analyzing targets in
the drift dubbed "Serpent" with the microscopic
imager. But before the close-ups began, Spirit
acquired miniature thermal emission spectrometer
inertia measurements on a disturbed area of soil. It
also captured panoramic camera images of the
scuffed area, dubbed "Bear Paw," the wheel that
did the digging, and a nearby rock target named
"White Elephant."

The microscopic imager work began at 11:00 am
Mars Local Solar Time and was targeted at four
points within the scuffed area on Serpent. The
targets were given the bear-type names of Polar,
Spectacled, Kodiak and Panda. For each target,
seven microscopic images were taken to assure
proper focus. At the Spectacled and Kodiak targets,
a microscopic image with the filter in place was
also taken for pseudo-color. Then the Moessbauer
was placed on Panda and started an overnight
integration. The arm activities were completed by
about noon Mars Local Solar time, and were
followed by the second thermal inertia
measurement on the disturbed soil.

The rover took a siesta until 1:00 p.m. Mars Local
Solar time, and then woke up for a series of mini
thermal emission spectrometer observations on the
rocks named "White Elephant," "Fruitcake," and
"Dihedral." Then the third and last thermal inertia
measurement was taken on the disturbed soil.

Spirit took another quick nap in the afternoon, and
then completed sky measurements with the mini
thermal emission spectrometer and panoramic

Spirit will have an early start on sol 74, which will
end at 6:25 a.m. PST March 19, 2004. Sol 74 will
include a tool change to the alpha particle X-ray
spectrometer and the beginning of an integration on
the drift target named Panda. Before the sol is
over, Spirit will also analyze an undisturbed area of
the Serpent drift before continuing to drive around
the rim of "Bonneville" crater.
Received on Thu 18 Mar 2004 03:48:54 PM PST

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