Mars Rovers Update
15 Feb 2004
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
A Wayside Stop, Then Back to Driving - sol 42, Feb 15, 2004
Spirit used instruments on its robotic arm to examine an unusual-looking rock called "Mimi" during the rover's 42nd sol on Mars, which ended at 9:15 a.m. Sunday, PST. Scientists will be examining images and spectra to understand this rock's structure and composition and what those can tell about the environment in which the rock formed.
For sol 43, which will end at 9:58 a.m. Monday, PST, controllers have planned what they are calling a "mega drive": commanding a morning drive of about 25 meters (82 feet), then taking pictures of the scene ahead and letting the rover have a brief rest before using those mid-day pictures to guide an optional afternoon drive. Spirit is currently about 270 meters from the crater nicknamed "Bonneville," its mid-term destination.
OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Dig this Place - sol 21, Feb 15, 2004
Opportunity completed its longest drive so far -- about 9 meters or 30 feet -- during its 21st sol on Mars, which ended at 9 p.m. Saturday, PST. The rover finished the drive with its first U-turn, arriving at a location selected for the mission's first trenching operation. Plans call for examining the hematite-rich surface of this location, called "Hematite Slope," during sol 22, then spinning one wheel to dig below the surface on sol 23.
Controllers at JPL chose "Send Me on My Way," by Rusted Root, and "Desert Drive," by Tangerine Dream, as Opportunity's wake-up music for sol 21. The rover worked a long day. It awoke earlier than usual for an early morning observation with its panoramic camera. It made additional observations from its new location just before finishing the drive, and again after finishing the last bit of the drive. Then it was woken after dark to make the mission's first nighttime observations with its infrared sensor, the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.