Mars Exploration Rovers Update - April 21, 2006
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Studies New Terrain - sol 812-819, Apr 21, 2006:
Spirit remains healthy and is enjoying the winter sun on Mars. This week, Spirit began acquiring a full-color, high-resolution, 360-degree panorama nicknamed the "McMurdo Pan." The panorama campaign will take a few weeks because of power and data limitations. In addition, Spirit conducted a scientific study of a soil target called "Mawson" using instruments on the rover's robotic arm.
All the rock and soil targets in this area are being named after Antarctic research stations and explorers.
Sol-by-sol highlights:
Sol 812 (April 16, 2006): Spirit performed targeted remote sensing with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and acquired microscopic images of undisturbed soil.
Sol 813: Spirit conducted targeted remote sensing with the panoramic camera.
Sol 814: Spirit began acquisition of the "McMurdo Pan." The rover studied a soil target called "Mawson" with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer.
Sol 815: Spirit conducted targeted remote sensing with the panoramic camera and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
Sol 816: Rather than pause for new instructions, Spirit continued to acquire panoramic camera data following master sequences already transmitted to the rover.
Sols 817 to 819 (April 21-23, 2006): Plans called for Spirit to continue work on the "McMurdo panorama," complete overnight studies of the soil target called "Mawson" with the Moessbauer spectrometer, and conduct targeted remote sensing.
As of sol 816 (April 20, 2006), Spirit's total odometry remained at 6,876.18 meters (4.27 miles).
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Making Progress Toward 'Victoria' - sol 789-797, Apr 21, 2006:
Opportunity is healthy and making good progress towards "Victoria Crater." The rover remains on a restricted schedule, driving only every other day. Last weekend, the rover stopped for some brief robotic arm work, to characterize the outcrop between "Erebus Crater" and Victoria Crater. Next week Opportunity is back to a normal schedule, and engineers hope to get the rover moving every day.
Sol-by-sol summaries:
Sol 789 (April 13, 2006): The plan was to drive to outcrop about 26 meters (85 feet) away. However, the drive stopped about 10 meters (33 feet) short by a slip check.
Sol 790: Opportunity conducted untargeted remote science.
Sol 791: The rover did some robotic arm work including: taking microscopic images and using the rock abrasion tool brush. The rover attempted a short alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration; however it failed due to a sequencing error.
Sol 792: Opportunity drove about 35 meters (115 feet) over an outcrop and crossed a few ripples.
Sol 793: The rover conducted untargeted remote science.
Sol 794: Opportunity drove about 30 meters (98 feet) towards Victoria Crater.
Sol 795: The rover conducted untargeted remote science.
Sol 796: After taking pre-drive images of the target "Fort Leavenworth," the team plans to drive about 27 meters (86 feet) down a trough, with ripple crossings at the start and end.
Sol 797 (April 21, 2006): Opportunity did untargeted remote sensing, systematic ground surveys with the panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer.
As of 794, Opportunity's total odometry was 7,334.56 meters (4.56 miles).
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