Mars Exploration Rovers Update
27 Feb 2004
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Spirit Status for sol 54
Heading To 'Humphrey'
posted Feb. 27, 5 pm PST
On sol 54, Spirit woke up to the song "Big Rock in the Road" by Pete Wernick and made its final approach to the imposing rock called "Humphrey" before the sol ended at 5:13 p.m. PST on Friday, Feb. 27. The initial 3.5 meter (11.5 feet) drive toward the rock was cut short at only 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) due to a built-in software safety. Rover engineers quickly adjusted the software restriction and drove the final meter of that planned drive, plus the 0.9 meters (about 3 feet) that put the rover in the best position for brushing "Humphrey" with the rock abrasion tool.
Before approaching the rock, Spirit used its alpha particle X-ray spectrometer to investigate the areas the rock abrasion tool will brush and grind. Unlike the last rock abrasion tool sequence on the rock called "Adirondack," the planned procedure for "Humphrey" will include brushing three separate areas of the rock. After brushing, Spirit will back up and examine the brushed areas with the instruments on its arm. The science team will then decide the best place to grind into "Humphrey" - it could be one of the three brushed areas or another section altogether. The hope is to remove as much dust as possible so the instruments on Spirit's arm can get a pre-grinding "read" on the rock coating and then, after grinding, study beneath the coating and surface.
In the sols following the rock abrasion tool sequence, Spirit might investigate an interesting rock behind it, or continue on toward "Bonneville" crater.
Opportunity Status for sol 33
Biting Blueberry Hill
posted Feb. 27, 10:30 am PST
On sol 33, which ended at 4:55 a.m. Friday, February 27, Opportunity reached its second rock abrasion tool target site, and it's ready to take the next bite of Mars.
Opportunity woke up a little late on sol 33 to conserve energy. The wake-up song was 'Blueberry Hill' by Fats Domino, in honor of the hill in front of the rover.
Opportunity took an early afternoon 360-degree panorama and an extra observation of the area to the east with its navigation camera, while the Moessbauer instrument completed the measurements it began on sol 32.
The microscopic imager also took three sets of observations of the hole created by the rock abrasion tool on sol 30. Opportunity later took stereo images of the rock area named "Maya" and took pictures of an area called "Half-Dome." Both the panoramic camera and the miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed the sky.
In between science measurements, Opportunity stowed its instrument arm and drove a 15-centimeter (6-inch) "bump" to reach its next rock abrasion tool target. Final shutdown was at 2:37 Local Solar Time, with a brief wakeup at 4:10 Local Solar Time to transmit data to the Mars Odyssey orbiter as it flew over the rover.
The plan for the weekend is to grind into the upper part of "El Capitan" dubbed "Guadalupe" and to take extensive measurements of the new hole using the microscopic imager and two spectrometers.