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Mars Rover Updates
Mars Rover Updates
4 Mar 2009
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

SPIRIT UPDATE: Slight Progress on New Route - sol 1831-1837,
February 26 - March 04, 2009:

After initially making good progress on a new route around "Home Plate"
to the east, Spirit has been struggling in local terrain on the
northeast corner of Home Plate. The route is difficult because the
direction is up-slope with a lot of loose, fine material denying the
five-driving-wheel rover good traction.

After getting about 15 meters (49 feet) away from Home Plate last week
in just two drives, Spirit made only 1.4 meters of progress on Sol 1831
(Feb. 26, 2009). The next two drive sols accomplished only about 2
meters each. On Sol 1837 (March 4, 2009), Spirit had difficulty turning
to face a new direction, again because of the soft terrain.

The plan is to back downslope a little, turn and attack the uphill grade
a little more cross-slope.

As of Sol 1837 (March 4, 2009), Spirit's solar array energy production
is 282 watt-hours, atmospheric opacity (tau) is 0.742, and the dust
factor on the solar array is 0.320. The rover is in good health as it
attempts to make its way around the northeast corner of Home Plate.
Spirit's total odometry is 7,602.42 meters (4.72 miles).

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: New Software Working Fine - sol 1811-1817,
February 26 - March 04, 2009:

Opportunity continues to exhibit elevated motor current in the drive
actuator of the right-front wheel. To mitigate this, the rover has been
driving backward.

This week, Opportunity built and booted new flight software, version
R9.3. After a build activity on Sol 1811 (Feb. 26, 2009), Opportunity
booted onto the R9.3 flight software on Sol 1814 (March 1, 2009). The
new software has been working fine.

Opportunity drove more than 56 meters (184 feet) the sol before the boot
and drove again for about 40 meters (131 feet) on Sol 1816 (March 3,
2009), two sols after the boot. The team is considering resting the
right-front drive actuator in coming sols as a way to further mitigate
the elevated motor current.

As of Sol 1817 (March 4, 2009), the solar array energy production is 488
watt-hours, down by 20 watt-hours from a week earlier. Atmospheric
opacity (tau) has increased a little to 0.710. The dust factor on the
solar array is 0.576, meaning that 57.6 percent of sunlight hitting the
solar array penetrates the layer of accumulated dust on the array. The
rover is in good health using its new flight software.

As of Sol 1816 (March 3, 2009), Opportunity's total odometry is
14,834.38 meters (9.22 miles).

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