Mars Exploration Rover Update - February 23, 2004

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Spirit Status for sol 50 Heading for Middle Ground Feb. 23, 1:30 pm PST

On Sol 50, ending at 2:35 p.m. PST, Spirit finished observations of the trench at "Laguna Hollow," then continued on its journey toward the crater called "Bonneville." Driving in a dog-leg pattern to avoid some bumpy terrain, Spirit traveled approximately 18.8 meters (61.7 feet) toward the halfway point, called "Middle Ground." The last 2.8 meters (9.2 feet) were covered using autonomous navigation software.

After completing the drive, Spirit gathered miniature thermal emission spectrometer data on the ground on both sides of the rover, and its panoramic camera and navigation camera took pictures.

The wake-up song this morning (Sunday evening Pacific time) was "Samba De Marte" by Beth Carvalho from her "Perolas Do Pagode" album. The lyrics include a verse about waking up the rover on Carnival Day. This song was written by Beth Carvalho after she heard that one of her songs was used to wake up Mars Pathfinder's Sojourner rover during the 1997 mission. This is quite appropriate, as this spirited sol 50 also began on Carnival day in Brazil!

In the coming sols, Spirit will complete the drive to "Middle Ground."

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