Mars Exploration Rovers Update
23 Oct 2010
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Remains Silent at Troy - sols 2410-2416, October 13-23, 2010:
Spirit remains silent at her location on the west side of Home Plate. No communication has been received from the rover since Sol 2210 (March 22, 2010).
The project is listening for Spirit with the Deep Space Network and Mars Odyssey orbiter for autonomous recovery communication from the low-power fault case, and conducting a "Sweep & Beep" strategy to stimulate the rover in the case of a mission clock fault. Improving solar insolation levels should provide an environment for the rover batteries to recharge, with increasing likelihood of hearing from Spirit in the period ahead.
Total odometry is unchanged at 7,730.50 meters (4.80 miles).
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Opportunity Past the 15-Mile Mark on Mars - sols 2389-2395, October 13-19, 2010:
Opportunity crossed the 24-kilometer (15-mile) odometry mark on her way to Endeavour crater.
The rover ended last week with the data backlog which limited activities over the weekend. On Sol 2390 (Oct. 14, 2010), the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) was sequenced to collect an atmospheric argon measurement along with light remote sensing. Not until Sol 2393 (Oct. 17, 2010), were onboard data volumes improved so a drive could be sequenced. On that sol, Opportunity drove over 100 meters (328 feet), crossing the 24-kilometer (15 mile) odometry mark.
The rover drove again on Sol 2395 (Oct. 19, 2010), again reaching over 100 meters (328 miles). Even though the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) instrument is still under investigation, the Mini-TES elevation mirror continues to be opened to the environment at regular intervals in the chance of catching a wind-induced cleaning event.
As of Sol 2395 (Oct. 19, 2010), solar array energy production was 627 watt-hours with a slightly elevated atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.639 and a solar array dust factor of 0.7015.
Total odometry is 24,192.63 meters (24.19 kilometers, or 15.03 miles).