Mars Exploration Rover Update - July 28, 2004
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Survives 200 Sols! - sol 198-200, July 28, 2004
On sol 198, Spirit completed a long overnight reading by the M�ssbauer spectrometer on a rock target called "Sabre," then ground a second rock abrasion tool hole on a target called "Mastodon." The alpha particle X-ray spectrometer was placed in the fresh hole in preparation for a reading, which was started during the overnight Odyssey communication pass.
On sol 199, Spirit completed a 6-hour early morning alpha particle X-ray spectrometer reading on Mastodon. After a midday nap to conserve energy, Spirit took pictures with the microscopic imager to create a mosaic of the rock abrasion tool hole. Spirit then placed the M�ssbauer instrument in the hole and began a 20-hour overnight reading.
Sol 200, ending on July 26, was a busy day for Spirit. Spirit completed the overnight M�ssbauer reading on the rock abrasion tool hole, took a midday nap, stowed the arm, bumped back to take pictures and readings of the hole with the panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer, then drove about 52 feet (16 meters). Due to the nature of the terrain, the drive was done in 6-wheel mode to minimize errors (rather than the current standard 5-wheel mode to conserve the aging right front wheel). Engineers carefully targeted Spirit's drive to end in a location with favorable tilt to the north to point the solar panels toward the Sun, giving Spirit as much power as possible as the Sun hangs low in the sky during martian winter.
Spirit will continue to drive up the Columbia Hills and search for more rock outcroppings.
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