Mars Team Energized About 'Sleepy Hollow' Near Rover

Guy Webster (818) 354-5011 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Donald Savage (202) 358-1547 NASA Headquarters, Washington
News Release: 2004-004 January 5, 2004
Mars Team Energized About 'Sleepy Hollow' Near Rover
"Sleepy Hollow," a shallow depression in the Mars ground near NASA's Spirit rover, may become an early destination when the rover drives off its lander platform in a week or so.
That possible crater and other features delighted engineers and scientists examining pictures from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's first look around.
"Reality has surpassed fantasy. We're like kids in a candy store," said Art Thompson, rover tactical activity lead at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We can hardly wait until we get off the lander and start doing fun stuff on the surface."
A clean bill of health from a checkout of all three science instruments on Spirit's robotic arm fortified scientists' anticipation of beginning to use those tools after the rover gets its six wheels onto the ground.
Also, Spirit succeeded Sunday in finding the Sun with its panoramic camera and calculating how to point its main antenna toward Earth by knowing the Sun's position.
"Just as the ancient mariners used sextants for 'shooting the Sun,' as they called it, we were successfully able to shoot the Sun with our panorama camera, then use that information to point the antenna," said JPL's Matt Wallace, mission manger.
Within sight of Spirit are several wide, shallow bowls that may be impact craters, said Dr. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, principal investigator for the spacecraft's science payload. "It's clear that while we have a generally flat surface, it is pockmarked with these things.
The mission's scientists, who are getting little rest as they examine the pictures from Spirit, chose the name "Sleepy Hollow" for one of these circular depressions. This one is about 9 meters (30 feet) across and about 12 meters (40 feet) north of the lander, Squyres said. "It's a hole in the ground," he said. "It's a window into the interior of Mars."
One of the next steps in preparing Spirit for rolling onto the soil is to extend the front wheels, which are tucked in for fitting inside a tight space during the flight from Earth.
Spirit arrived at Mars Jan. 3 (EST and PST; Jan. 4 Universal Time) after a seven month journey. Its task is to spend the next three months exploring for clues in rocks and soil about whether the past environment at this part of Mars was ever watery and possibly suitable to sustain life.
Spirit's twin Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, will reach its landing site on the opposite side of Mars on Jan. 25 (EST and Universal Time; Jan. 24 PST) to begin a similar examination of a site on the opposite side of the planet from Gusev Crater.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington. Additional information about the project is available from JPL at
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html
and and from Cornell University at
http://athena.cornell.edu /
-end-
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What are the chances that "Sleepy Hollow" is where the Spirit Bounced? It seems that there is a trail of Sleepy Hollows off to the distance.
How much of a footprint was expected from the bouncing spaceship?
Mark

...
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From what I've read, it was expected to bounce at least a dozen times, over a kilometer or more. Just the rover weighs 400 lbs.
Rick

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Very, very likely.

Just what you see is about what was expected.
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I was watching Kangaroo Jack, the background looks just like the Mars pictures. Flat sand with 3-6 inch rocks every 2-3 feet
Chosp wrote:

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:M What are the chances that "Sleepy Hollow" is where the Spirit Bounced? :M It seems that there is a trail of Sleepy Hollows off to the distance.
There are similar features in other directions as well. The new hi-res color image shows similar features in the opposite direction as "Sleepy Hollow", approximately. Also, if you look at the far edge of "Sleepy Holow", you can see a small rim, like you'd expect from a typical small impact crater. You can see that in the 3D images both from the navcam taht were published the other day as well as the ones taken from the rear hazcams mounted under the solar panels which also show "Sleepy Hollow". You can see the changing perspective from high up to down low which clearly shows the blocky crater rim on the far edge of "Sleepy Hollow".
:M How much of a footprint was expected from the bouncing spaceship?
The individual bounce marks are probably only about 5 or 6 feet across at most and in fact, there are two dark markings in the soil in "Sleepy Hollow" which at this point look suspiciously like what a bounce mark might look like. Compare the nav cam 3D images with the rear hazcam images that you can find on this page which has raw image thumbnails and links to larger versions of those images, you can see the blocky far rim.
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/spirit.html
Jim.
Jim Scotti Lunar & Planetary Laboratory University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721 USA http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~jscotti/
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snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMpirl.lpl.arizona.edu says...

I think we can stop quoting Sleepy Hollow, the thing has been named.
Marc
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CNN was reporting that there are two depressions in "Sleepy Hollow" that may have been made by the bouncing rover. So the rover itself upon landing may have opened up small windows to be able to peer below the "dust." Wonder what it will find.

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may
may
Interesting idea.
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