Mars Exploration Rover Update - July 14, 2005

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status.html
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Investigating 'Independence' - sol 538-545, July 14, 2005
Spirit is healthy. On sol 538 (July 8, 2005), Spirit attempted its rock abrasion tool to brush the rock called "Independence." The tool's contact switches did not engage the rock face, and the brushing did not occur. A safety check precluded further use of the robotic arm. The prescribed operation should have been:
* brush with rock abrasion tool; * place the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer; * observe with the microscopic imager; * place the Moessbauer spectrometer.

fact that use of the arm was precluded), the rover would not have been able to switch to the Moessbauer spectrometer. The entire weekend's worth data collection by the Moessbauer spectrometer would have been lost. However, the arm preclusion was discovered Friday evening and the team had enough time to modify the robotic arm sequence and recover the weekend's Moessbauer integration time. The sequence of events became:
* enable robotic arm activity * move the joint angles to avoid an arm position that would prompt collision-avoidance software to halt to arm movements; * observe with the microscopic imager; * place the Moessbauer spectrometer.
The recovery plan ran well. The Moessbauer spectrometer was placed and it collected data all weekend.
On later sols the tool turret on the arm was rotated to the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. That instrument examined the same target for about 17 hours, recovering the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration time lost on July 8 (sol 538). Spirit also found time during the weekend to fill in the remaining panoramic camera images for an "Independence" color panorama.
Sol-by-sol summaries:
Sols 538 and 539 (July 8 and 9): The rover team recovered a long reading with Spirit's Moessbauer spectrometer after a planned brushing with the rock abrasion tool did not occur. The rover also took images of the target rock, "Independence" with the microscopic imager and continued taking component images for a large color panorama of the "Independence" scene.
Sols 540 and 541 (July 10 and 11): Spirit continued collecting data with the Moessbauer spectrometer and taking images for the "Independence" panorama.
Sols 542 and 543 (July 12 and 13): Spirit continued the Moessbauer spectrometer integration, then changed the tool to the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer late in the afternoon and collected data with that instrument overnight. In the morning of sol 543, Spirit changed back to the Moessbauer spectrometer for its final few hours of integration. Spirit stowed the robotic arm and bumped back about 80 centimeters (2.6 feet) to a good position for observing "Independence" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, now back in use.
Sols 544 and 545 (July 14 and 15): The plans for these sols are for a 25-meter (82-foot) drive followed by a sol of remote-sensing observations from the new location.
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