Mars Exploration Rovers Update
7 Jul 2010
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Still Silent - sols 2308-2314, July 01-07, 2010:
Spirit remains silent at her location called "Troy" on the west side of Home Plate. No communication has been received from the rover since Sol 2210 (March 22, 2010).
As stated previously, it is likely that Spirit has experienced a low-power fault and has turned off all sub-systems, including communication and gone into a deep sleep. While sleeping, the rover will use the available solar array energy to recharge her batteries. When the batteries recover to a sufficient state of charge, Spirit will wake up and begin to communicate.
There is the additional risk that the rover may trip a mission clock fault. If that happens, the rover would remain asleep until the batteries have recharged sufficiently and there is enough sunlight on the solar arrays to wake the rover. With the southern winter solstice back on May 13, 2010, solar energy levels and temperatures are expected to be improving.
Total odometry is unchanged at 7,730.50 meters (4.80 miles).
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Has Two More Drives - sols 2287-2294, June 30 - July 07, 2010:
Opportunity drove twice, tested the autonomous exploration for gathering increased science, or AEGIS software, and collected an atmospheric argon measurement over the past week.
The rover drove on Sol 2288 (July 1, 2010), covering about 71 meters
(233 feet) in a simple zigzag pattern to the east. Over the 4th of July weekend, Opportunity performed two more tests of the AEGIS autonomous pointing software and collected an atmospheric argon measurement with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). On Sol 2293 (July 6, 2010), Opportunity drove again heading east and covering another 71 meters (233 feet).
As of Sol 2294 (July 7, 2010), solar array energy production has improved to 359 watt-hours, atmospheric opacity (Tau) was 0.226 and the solar array dust factor is 0.577.
Total odometry is 21,550.77 meters (21.55 kilometers, or 13.99 miles).