Mars Exploration Rover Update - June 23, 2004

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SPIRIT UPDATE: 'Pot-of-Gold' Revealed - sol 161-163, June 23, 2004

Spirit currently sits at the base of the "Columbia Hills" in an area called the "Hank Moore Hollow." This area has a collection of intriguing rocks on its rim, one of which, "Pot-of-Gold," will be the first target for scientists' observations.

Spirit used the microscopic imager to get an up close view of Pot-of-Gold on sol 161, but unfortunately, the images were out of focus. Rover planners attribute the blurry shots to a lower than expected rock contact prior to the imaging sequence. Spirit did successfully acquire Mossbauer observations of Pot-of-Gold on this sol.

On sol 162, Spirit was commanded to retake the microscopic images of Pot-of-Gold and do extensive observations with the Mossbauer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer instruments. The microscopic images were successfully obtained, but a positioning fault of the instrument deployment device prevented the Mossbauer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer observations from executing.

Spirit successfully completed the work with its instrument deployment device on sol 163, and took some additional microscopic images of Pot-of-Gold.

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