Mars Exploration Rover Update - December 7, 2004

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SPIRIT UPDATE: The Holiday Spirit is on Mars - sol 306-325,
December 07, 2004
During the 19 sols ending on sol 325 (Dec. 1), Spirit continued to
explore in the "Columbia Hills." Spirit reached a position northeast of
a ridge called "Machu Picchu" and began crossing a 200-meter-wide
(656-foot-wide) flat saddle area.
The amount of electric current drawn by the motor of the right front
wheel continues to be a concern. However, during a recent drive the
current draw was closer to normal than it had been in preceding weeks.
Engineers will continue to limit use of this wheel by driving backwards
when terrain allows, dragging it 90 percent of the time.
Between sols 306 and 325, Spirit finished shooting a Thanksgiving
panorama with the panoramic camera; investigated new rock targets
"Corn," "Cocomama," and "Butter" with the science instruments; and
continued to drive eastward between the "West Spur" and an area where
the terrain slopes back upward toward "Husband Hill."
Spirit successfully completed about 80 meters (262 feet) of driving,
bringing the total mission traverse to 3.82 kilometers (2.37 miles).
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