Mars Exploration Rover Update - May 12, 2004
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Speeds to 'Lead Foot' - sol 124-126, May 12, 2004
Spirit drove 80 meters (262.5 feet) on sol 124, bringing its total odometry to 1,909.52 meters (1.2 miles). Spirit has less than 1.2 kilometers (.75 mile) to go before reaching the base of the"Columbia Hills," and will reach them by sol 160. Later in the martian day, after completing the sol 124 drive, Spirit took a 360-degree afternoon panorama of its surroundings with the navigation camera.
On sol 125, Spirit continued driving and set a new one-sol driving record of 123.7 meters (405.8 feet). Science on Sol 125 included morning atmospheric sky and ground remote sensing, mini thermal emission spectrometer observation of the sol 126 instrument deployment device work volume, imaging with the panoramic camera, and cloud observations.
After the long sol 125 drive, Spirit was in perfect position to work with the instrument deployment device on sol 126. This included alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, Mössbauer and microscopic imager work on a target called "Lead Foot" (in honor of the big drive on sol 125). The Mössbauer was used as the feeler for all these activities but touched down on rocks rather than soil at the "Lead Foot" location, compromising the Mössbauer and microscopic imager data (images out of focus). Spirit also did some driving on this sol, and added 55.6 meters (182.4 feet) to the odometer, bringing Spirit's new drive total to 2,089 meters (1.3 miles). At the end of the sol, Spirit successfully executed a sequence that used the panoramic camera to find the Sun and correct for accumulated rover attitude errors.
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