[meteorite-list] Mars Exploration Rovers Update - April 27, 2004

Ron Baalke baalke at zagami.jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Apr 27 15:08:00 EDT 2004


SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Continues to Drive - sol 110-111, 
Apr 27, 2004

After a successful weekend of driving on sols 108 and 109, 
Spirit kicked off its week with a 140-meter (459.3 feet) 
drive over sols 110 and 111 toward its destination at 
the base of the "Columbia Hills."

Spirit began sol 110, which ended at 7:10 a.m. PDT on 
April 25, 2004, with a stretch of its "arm" to take
microscopic imager pictures of an area of soil called 
"Waffle Flats." It then placed the Mössbauer
spectrometer instrument on that spot for a 90-minute 
integration. Spirit did double-duty and was able to get
panoramic camera and mini thermal emission spectrometer 
images of the area for localization and science purposes 
while the Mössbauer was at work.

Spirit then stowed its instrument deployment device and 
began an 80-meter (262.5 feet) drive, half of it directed 
by rover planners and half using the autonomous navigation 
software. During the autonomous navigation portion, the 
rover detected a hazard and did not complete the final 
short-drive intended at the end of the journey. Images 
from the front hazard avoidance camera show no sign of 
a hazard, leaving rover controllers with a bit of a 
mystery to investigate.

Following the drive, Spirit took panoramic camera and 
navigation camera images in the drive direction and
performed atmospheric science with the panoramic camera 
and mini thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 111, which ended at 7:50 a.m. PDT on April 26, 2004, 
was also a sol full of driving for Spirit. After 
acquiring panoramic camera images of its surroundings 
and completing atmospheric science with the panoramic 
camera and mini thermal emission spectrometer, the rover 
began its drive.

Spirit successfully completed a 60.8-meter (199.5 feet) 
drive toward the Columbia Hills and then acquired 
navigation and panoramic camera images of the driving 
direction. Spirit ended the day with mini thermal
emission spectrometer observations of the soil and 
then a coordinated mini thermal emission spectrometer
and panoramic camera study of the atmosphere.

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Finishing Up at 'Fram' - sol 88-89, 
Apr 27, 2004

On Opportunity's 88th sol, which ended at 6:12 p.m. PDT 
on April 23, the rover team decided that although "Fram 
Crater" was an intriguing depression, the potential 
hazards and the time involved in investigating it
made it more of a tour stop than a destination.

With the goal of "Endurance Crater" in mind, the rover 
finished its investigation of the rock called "Pilbara."
A final Mössbauer spectrometer measurement was taken, 
and then the miniature thermal emission spectrometer 
studied the recently carved rock abrasion tool hole.

The rover then successfully drove out onto the nearby 
plains for a photometry experiment (measurement of
light detectable by the human eye). The 33-meter (about 
108 feet) south-easterly drive ended with a front
wheel "scuff" mark in the soil.

On the rover's 89th sol, which ended at 6:52 p.m. PDT on 
April 24, the microscopic imager photographed a soil 
target called "Nougat" within the scuff. A Mössbauer 
spectrometer reading of the target followed.

The photometry experiment continued on this sol along 
with miniature thermal emission spectrometer remote 

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