SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Achieves Mission Success - sol 91, Apr 05, 2004
Spirit woke up on sol 91, which ended at 6:38 p.m. PDT on April 5, 2004,
as if it were any other martian day, but this one was special. Finishing
90 sols of surface operations since landing day marked completion of the
last of the official success criteria for Spirit's prime mission. The
rover team at JPL had checked off the next-to-last box for mission
success two days earlier, when a drive of 50.2 meters (165 feet) took
Spirit's total travel distance over the 600-meter (1,969 feet) mark.
The martian day for sol 91 started with some remote sensing observations
of the sky and ground as well as navigation camera images of the landscape
to the east. Then the rover completed miniature thermal emission
spectrometer ground surveys and imaged the sky and ground with the panoramic
camera. After a short nap, Spirit acquired some pre-drive imaging including
a super-spectral look at an interesting spot in front of the rover.
Early in the martian afternoon, Spirit began a 1.35-meter (4.4-foot) drive
to get closer to a rock called "Route 66." Once the drive was finished, the
rover analyzed the instrument deployment device's work volume with
hazard-avoidance camera images and a stare by the miniature thermal
emission spectrometer. A quick adjustment of 0.8 meters (2.6 feet) put
the rover in perfect position and completed the drive.
Spirit spent the afternoon taking a systematic soil survey with the
panoramic camera, a 13-filter image of the destination informally named
"Columbia Hills," and acquiring miniature thermal emission spectrometer
data of the same locations.
Spirit will spend sol 92, which will end at 7:18 p.m. PDT on April 6, 2004,
analyzing its capture magnet and filter magnet with its Mössbauer
spectrometer and microscopic imager. The rover will also complete
coordinated observations with the Mars Global Surveyor and switch tools
to the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer for an overnight measurement.
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Bidding Adieu to 'Bounce' - sol 68-69, Apr 05, 2004
Over the weekend, Opportunity completed its observations at "Bounce Rock"
rock and prepared for its trek toward "Endurance Crater."
On sol 68, which ended at 4:00 a.m. PST on April 3, the rover backed away
from Bounce, then re-approached the rock in preparation for an alpha particle
X-ray spectrometer read on the right side of it. The wake-up tune chosen for
the sol was "Got to Go Back" by Van Morrison.
Opportunity made observations with its miniature thermal emission
spectrometer during the martian morning. Then it took set of microscope
images before backing away from the rock. More images were taken from that
vantage point before Opportunity made a 10-degree turn in place and drove
the 0.85 meters (2.8 feet) back to Bounce.
On sol 69, which ended at 5:40 a.m. PST on April 4, Opportunity completed
its instrument arm work on Bounce. It also examined soil targets with its
microscopic imager and Mössbauer spectrometer. The wake-up song for the
sol was "Little Maggie" by Tom Adams, chosen for the soil target named
In coming sols Opportunity will make progress in a 750-meter (nearly a half
mile) drive to Endurance Crater. The rover team plans to make pit stops
along the way at scientifically interesting sites and will pause other
activities for a few sols while the rover gets new flight software.