Mars Exploration Rover Update - May 26, 2006
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Continues Studies of Martian "Winter Haven" -
sol 847-854, May 26, 2006:
Spirit continued to collect images for the 360-degree panorama, now under construction, of the rover's "Winter Haven" on Mars. Rover planners anticipated that by the end of the Memorial Day weekend, Spirit would complete 15 of the 27 columns for the final product. Spirit also continued scientific studies of the soil target called "Progress" after brushing away about 6 millimeters (a quarter of an inch) of soil to reveal a second layer, dubbed "Progress 2." Rover team members prepared commands for the next round of scientific measurements, to include a 49.5-hour study divided over three Martian days, or sols, using the Moessbauer spectrometer.
Five of seven opportunities to transmit signals to Mars at higher-frequency X-band wavelengths were needed for higher-priority communications in support of aerobraking activities of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, so engineers continued sending commands to Spirit via the UHF link on the Mars Odyssey spacecraft.
Sol-by-sol summaries:
Sol 847 (May 21, 2006): Spirit acquired a one-by-three mosaic for column 14 of the "McMurdo Panorama" and studied Progress 2 with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.
Sols 849 to 851: In the absence of an uplink for new commands, Spirit executed the master sequence from sol 848. Spirit continued downlinking data to Earth and charged the battery.
Sol 852: Plans called for Spirit to place the Moessbauer spectrometer on Progress 2 and start overnight collection and integration of data.
Sol 853: Plans called for Spirit to re-start analysis with the Moessbauer spectrometer for 3.5 hours, acquire all three frames of column 15 of the McMurdo panorama, and make targeted observations with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 854 (May 29, 2006): Plans called for an overnight study of Progress 2 with the Moessbauer spectrometer.
As of sol 850 (May 25, 2006), Spirit's total odometry remained at 6,876.18 meters (4.27 miles).
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