Mars Exploration Rovers Update - March 31, 2004
SPIRIT UPDATE: Brushing the Dust Off 'Missouri' - sol 86, March 31, 2004
Spirit began sol 86, which ended at 2:20 p.m. PST on March 31, 2004, by waking up and heating the panoramic mast assembly to complete sky and ground stares with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer. Spirit completed the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer integration on the hole made by the rock abrasion tool and then took a 45-minute nap.
Once Spirit woke up, it began the 6-position rock abrasion tool brush mosaic on the target "Missouri" on the rock called "Mazatzal." Once this was completed successfully, the rover's arm was stowed.
Spirit then rolled backwards .9 meters (2.95 feet) to correctly position itself to acquire mini thermal emission spectrometer imaging of the newly brushed mosaic, and the previously ground hole. In addition, Spirit took sky and ground stares and panoramic camera images of the upcoming drive direction. The sol ended with mini thermal emission spectrometer stares at the "Columbia Hills" and an afternoon pass by NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.
Sol 87, which ends at 3:00 p.m. PST on April 1, 2004, will be a driving day for Spirit as it begins what could be a record-breaking journey toward the Columbia Hills.
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity 'Back in the Saddle' - sol 65, March 31, 2004
Opportunity resumed science operations after waking to Aerosmith's "Back in the Saddle" on its 65th sol, which ended at 2:02 a.m. PST on March 31. During the martian morning, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and panoramic camera studied the atmosphere. "Bounce" rock was imaged by the panoramic camera.
Opportunity's instrument arm was then deployed to get a close-up view of "Bounce" using the microscopic imager. The rock abrasion tool team used some of these images to identify the exact target for next sol's grinding operation. The Moessbauer spectrometer was then placed on a designated target on the rock for an overnight integration.
In the afternoon, Opportunity took navigation and panoramic camera images and completed more miniature thermal emission spectrometer science.
Next sol, the rover's rock abrasion tool will grind into Bounce.
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