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Spirit Rover Update
Spirit Rover Update
4 Jan 2007
(Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

- sol 1058-1062, January 02, 2007:

A sudden dust storm cut short Spirit's investigation of a volcanic rock and kicked enough dust into the Martian atmosphere to drive solar power levels to an all-time low. Spirit's team of scientists and engineers decided to move the rover to a spot where the solar panels would be tilted toward the sun to increase the amount of electrical power available.

The southern hemisphere dust storm lowered power levels to 267 watt-hours on Spirit's 1,061st sol, or Martian day, of exploring Mars (Dec. 27, 2006). Spirit had been using its Moessbauer spectrometer to analyze the mineral composition of a rock nicknamed "Esperanza," a piece of lava full of tiny holes and known as vesicular basalt. Due to concern about low power, the team prepared to drive Spirit to a north-tilted spot on the way toward a new target, a layered outcrop known as "Troll."

Spirit spent the New Year's weekend in one place, monitoring dust and actually resting on a holiday.

Sol-by-sol summary:

Sol 1058 (Dec. 24, 2006): Spirit completed 4 hours and 42 minutes of analysis of a target known as "Palma" on the rock Esperanza using the M??ssbauer spectrometer. The rover tested Step No. 2 of a software program to watch for dust devils and studied a target known as "Boudouin" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1059: Spirit spent an additional 3 hours and 48 minutes collecting information about Palma with the M??ssbauer spectrometer, scanned rock outcrops known as "Gurruchaga" and "Oberth" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and acquired super-resolution images of a rock target known as "Molodezhnaya."

Sol 1060: Spirit acquired an additional 4 hours and 47 minutes worth of M??ssbauer spectrometer data from Palma and surveyed the Martian horizon with the panoramic camera.

Sol 1061: Spirit completed 3.5 hours of M??ssbauer spectrometer analysis of Palma, bringing the total number of hours spent collecting data about the rock to 25. Spirit then acquired data from a rock target known as "Scott_Base" with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer and acquired a full-color image of a soil target known as "Tyrone" using all 13 filters of the panoramic camera.

Sol 1062 (Dec. 28, 2006): The team prepared to send Spirit driving about 4 meters (13 feet) to a shallow slope selected because it would tilt the rover's solar arrays toward the sun, which was still fairly low above the northern horizon and dimmed by atmospheric dust.

Odometry:

On sol 1062 (Dec. 28, 2006), Spirit's total odometry reached 6,891.34 meters (4.28 miles).

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Last Updated: 4 Jan 2007