Mars Exploration Rovers Update - July 25, 2005
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit in Target-Rich Environment - sol 546-551, July 25, 2005:
Spirit had an excellent week, driving every planning cycle. The rover drove more than 70 meters (230 feet) closer to the summit of Husband Hill.
The science team has identified an outcrop suitable for inspecting with instruments on the robotic arm. On Sol 550 (July 20, 2005), Spirit approached that target. The following sol the rover "bumped" forward to get into good position for extending the arm to the target.
Sol-by-sol summaries:
Sols 546 and 547 (July 16 and 17, 2005): Spirit drove about 12.5 meters (41 feet) on sol 547.
Sol 548: Spirit drove about 20 meters (66 feet).
Sols 549: Spirit drove about 30 meters (98 feet).
Sols 550: Spirit drove about 10 meters (33 feet).
Sols 551 (July 21, 2005): Spirit drove about 1 meter (three feet) to get into position for using the robotic arm's tools on an outcrop target. As of sol 551, Spirit has an odometer total of 4,685 meters (2.91 miles).
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Rocks and Cobbles on the Way to 'Erebus' - sol 524-530, July 25, 2005:
The Opportunity team's current strategy for driving alternates segments of using visual odometry to check for slippage with segments of blind driving for less than 5 meters (16 feet). The strategy and hard work designing and commanding drives through troughs between ripples contributed to the rover making 89 meters (292 feet) of progress over three drive plans.
Rocks and cobbles have begun appearing in images of Opportunity's new surroundings, for the first time in many weeks of traversing through rippled terrain.
The rover's power team reported a dust-cleaning event on Opportunity between sols 524 and 526. Daily power output from solar panels increased from about 500 watt hours to about 650 watt hours.
Sol-by-sol summaries:
Sol 524 (July 15, 2005): The uplink team planned and executed a successful 27-meter (89-foot) drive. This signified the first use of a combination of short segments of blind driving followed by small slip-check drive segments. One small rock was seen in imaging.
Sol 525: Opportunity performed remote sensing and repeated a right-front steering actuator diagnostic test from sol 435. The actuator moved slightly more than in the last test, but there was no significant change.
Sol 526: Rover planners used the drive technique established on sol 524 to complete a successful 32-meter (105-foot) drive. Small cobbles were seen in imaging.
Sol 527: Opportunity used the sol for remote sensing and battery recharging.
Sol 528: The uplink team planned a drive of 30 meters (98 feet), continuing in the troughs and crossing one ripple crest. The crest was estimated at 8.5 percent slope. However, the drive did not succeed because of a timeout on the first turn command. The duration was set to 15 seconds for a 15-degree turn. The rover made 14.9 degrees of progress before using up the allotted time.
Sol 529: On this second sol of a two-sol plan, the rover performed remote sensing.
Sol 530 (July 21, 2005): The uplink team repeated the planned drive from sol 528, with changes to the timeout durations of turn and waypoint commands. The drive succeeded in covering 30 meters (98 feet). It brought Opportunity's total odometry to 5,555 meters (3.45 miles).
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